Publication Details

Ravulo, J., Said, S., Micsko, J. & Purchase, G. (2020). Social value and its impact through widening participation: A review of four programs working with primary, secondary & higher education students. Cogent Social Sciences, 6 (1), 1722307-1-1722307-20.


In 2017 the Office of Widening Participation conducted a program- wide analysis of the Social Return On Investment (SROI) to evaluate the impact of four Widening Participation programs at Western Sydney University (WSU). The programs evaluated were Fast Forward, Strive Towards Educational Participation and Success (STEPS), First Foot Forward, and Pasifika Achievement To Higher Education (PATHE). The overlapping aim amongst the four programs is to increase higher education participation rates, particularly for students coming from low socio-economic backgrounds. The SROI framework provided a holistic analysis by intertwining qualitative and quantitative data. The analysis showed that each program-albeit with differences-produced a collection of positive outcomes, and made important progressions to increasing and widening participation for "non-traditional" students. This is verified by the SROI ratio which is represented as a return, for every dollar invested-the combined four programs equated to an average return of $5.78 for every $1 invested.



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