NUS releases new guidance for your access agreements

Wednesday 22-02-2017 - 16:06

Working with your institution to develop your access agreement is a great opportunity to widen participation for underrepresented groups.

Universities who charge £6,000 a year or more for undergraduate degrees must write an annual access agreement outlining how they will improve participation for underrepresented groups.

From now until April, institutions up and down the country will be developing their access agreements and it’s crucial that students’ unions get a say in this process.

That’s why we’ve developed new guidance for students’ unions to brief you on all you need to know.

Whilst there’s no one size fits all approach, this resource will give you an understanding of the key issues relating to access and help you to consider what you might want to do as part of your access agreement.

We’ll also be hosting workshop events for students’ union staff and officers who are responsible for working on the agreement. The first of these will be held at the NUS London office on Friday 10 March (11am–3pm). We’ll be announcing an additional date for the North of England over the coming days.

How do I get started?

  • Read the guidance and start thinking about which issues are the most relevant to your institution;
  • Let us know which date workshop you are coming along to by emailing;
  • If you haven’t done so already, find out who is responsible for delivering your institutions access agreement and book a meeting with them;
  • Make sure you sit on the relevant committee which supports the development of the agreement, usually called a ‘Widening Participation Committee’;
  • Take a look at your institutions guidance from last year, agreements rarely change dramatically year on year.

The deadline for this year’s access agreements to be handed into the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) is Wednesday 26 April 2017.

If you have any questions, please email


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