The OfS’ invites feedback on the Equality of Opportunity Risk Register. This is an unstructured call with no official deadline
The EPC has previously warned the OfS that the EORR inadequately recognises the nuance of risks to equality of opportunity from the viewpoint of different disciplines (as well as demographic, institutional and perhaps regional perspectives) citing gender and intersectionality in engineering which reflect pathways and opportunity, not necessarily individual choices. We expressed concerns that in order to meet B3 conditions and access and participation targets, providers may be incentivised to expand or decrease the size and range of their courses; using the balance of subjects on offer to tackle demographic risks. For example, the propensity of engineering expansion to attract students who, being more likely to be male and being Engineers, will have a tendency to earn more than other graduates, reflecting and perpetuating advantage rather than subject-specific underrepresentation and inequity.
We also highlighted the risk to collaboration from gaming the data and outcomes (admitting more of certain types of students, not by attracting a wider number into higher education but by successfully influencing institutional choice) and the lack of CIAG to defend against this. Plus a few other observations. The full EPC response is available here.
We are liaising with EngineeringUK on an appropriate engineering response and would welcome your comments (below).