About Us

HeppSY Phase 2

In December 2018, the Office for Students (OfS) agreed that, through NCOP, in 2019-20 and 2020-21 the OfS will:

a. Continue to invest in targeted higher education outreach within the areas where it can have the most impact ensuring that it makes the most of the opportunity to strengthen evaluation practice and knowledge of ‘what works’.

b. Commit to supporting collaboration in the longer term by funding sustainable local partnerships (‘outreach hubs’) with cross-England coverage to help schools and colleges access the higher education outreach they need and provide a platform for wider collaboration, including with regard to joined up careers advice.

The programme is intended to complement and add value to the work that higher education providers undertake through their access and participation plans, in particular work that is best delivered in collaboration. Through the local partnerships NCOP supports wider collaborative activity with local authorities, employers and local enterprise partnerships, as well as with key partners such as the new local careers hubs, careers leaders and the opportunity areas.

HeppSY’s goals for the second phase of NCOP are to:

  • reduce the gap in higher education participation between the most and least represented groups
  • support young people to make well-informed decisions about their future education
  • support effective and impactful local collaboration by higher education providers working together with schools, colleges, employers and other partners
  • contribute to a stronger evidence base around ‘what works’ in higher education outreach and strengthen evaluation practice in the sector.

We will achieve the goals for phase two through:

  • providing impartial, sustained and progressive higher education outreach from a range of providers tailored to the needs of young people in target areas
  • providing open, transparent and impartial routes for schools and colleges to access outreach activity from a range of higher education providers
  • supporting a local partnership infrastructure now and in the future which can act as a vehicle for activity on a range of agendas relating to access and participation, including activity set out in providers’ access and participation plans
  • robust evaluation at both local and national levels, including capability-building support.

New developments

Establishing a Progression Framework

Higher education outreach is most effective when delivered as a progressive, sustained programme of activity and through engagement over time. For phase two of the programme HeppSY has created a progression framework which sets out a clear statement of the specific changes that are expected for an individual learner over time as a result of the activities undertaken as part of HeppSY targeted outreach.

Download our Progression Framework

The creation of an Outreach Hub

Through phase two of NCOP the OfS will provide support for local collaborative outreach hubs operating across England. As well as delivery of outreach activity, the targeted NCOP outreach hubs will be expected to:


HeppSY are committed to safeguarding participants, staff and visitors in all its outreach activities with young people. Safeguarding is a priority for the team and we aim to provide effective arrangements to ensure all learners are safe on University premises and where activity is delivered within their usual learning environment.

Download the HeppSY+ Safeguarding Policy