This post is part of an ongoing series where I intend to develop my full personal (not institutional) response to the HE Green Paper. Comments are welcome to refine this.
The Green Paper asks in Question 13:
a) What potential benefits for decision and policy making in relation to improving access might arise from additional data being available?
b) What additional administrative burdens might this place on organisations? If additional costs are expected to be associated with this, please quantify them.
a.) Clearly, better data in this respect will allow for better monitoring of access.
b.) There will, of course, be additional administrative costs in providing data and contextualising them. For instance, if local demographic information is required in order to normalise against a geographical factor of diversity, then research into local statistics may be necessary. Monitoring these statistics, collating them, contextualising them and taking additional research in order to explain any deviation is likely to require at least one additional staff post (~£40,000) at each institution. In the case of widening access, however, this may be a necessary and justifiable cost.