wrote a post about using distance as a measure for identifying widening participation schools.Since then, we have completed our map (pictured) of schools in the UK which lie farther than 25 miles from a major research institution.Last summer we
In July we mentioned that travel time, in place of as-the-crow-flies distance may be a better measure of accessibility.
We want to look at schools far from HEIs as these schools are more difficult for scientists and researchers to reach; a PhD student is much more likely to travel 20 minutes to a school to give a workshop, than take out an entire day to visit a school an hour away.
While distance does provide a reasonable measure for accessibility, it does miss out some of the nuance in more rural or coastal areas.
Our measure could be improved.
We got in touch with iGeolise, who specialise in travel time data, and kindly offered to take a look at our school and HEI data.
Using their data, we have created the map below.While there is a lot of overlap between schools on both maps, it is clear that travel time is a more realistic indicator than distance in rural and coastal areas.We will continue to look at both measures when assessing applications from schools, and looking at the schools where we believe I’m a Scientist and I’m an Engineer can be most valuable.
You can see a full list of the criteria we use to identify widening participation, and under-served schools here. If there are any other criteria you think we should look at, or if you want to discuss data, the maps, the projects… Please do get in touch. Leave a comment below, or drop us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some notes on the data:
- We are missing data for two HEIs in Northern Ireland, and a small number of schools. These haven’t been mapped.
- School information changes regularly. We have used the best information we have available, but we know there are some anomalies.
- We were missing travel time data for the University of Cambridge; we have approximated times using averages of known data to account for a small amount of un-mapped data.
Posted on February 23, 2017 by modjosh in Widening Participation.