The context for this project is the legal duty placed on higher education institutions and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to mainstream equality across all their work. It combines that with the requirement to widen access to students from low socio-economic backgrounds which forms part of the outcome agreements between SFC and Scottish universities. It is strongly related to policy in relation to the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act as well as the Equalities Act 2010.
The main aim of the project is to analyse the intersection between SIMD and the protected characteristics at the national (Scottish) level and to develop an institutional benchmarking tool for Scottish HEIs. It consists of two stages; Stage 1 involves an analysis of the most recent HESA data on first-year undergraduate students at Scottish HEIs; the second stage, drawing on the HESA analysis, is the development of the toolkit.