Freedom to Achieve

The Freedom to Achieve (FTA) project was a direct response to the attainment gap – the difference between the proportion of white students who are awarded good honours degrees (1st or 2:1), and the proportion of students of colour who are awarded the same degrees. The project aimed to ensure that everyone, whatever their background, can achieve their potential and can see themselves and people like them reflected in the institution.

In response to the attainment gap, DMU partnered with a group of six other universities, funded by the Office for Students, to explore positive ways of addressing the gap.  The other universities involved were Kingston University, University of Hertfordshire, University of Greenwich, University College London, and University of Wolverhampton.

The project involved the following key elements:

  • Understanding the value-added metric and the inclusive curriculum framework (ICF) and how they can be integrated into existing DMU pedagogic practices, including embedding the ICF into Universal Design for Learning.
  • Disseminating these approaches across the 40 pilot programmes and working with programme teams to explore their attainment gap data. 
  • Beginning to implement curriculum change across the 40 programmes and more widely across the institution.
  • Engaging in co-creation with our students to ensure that their voice is heard throughout this process. 


Project Evaluation Report 2018

Full Report

Executive Summary

Atkins, L. (2018) Freedom to Achieve: Project Evaluation Report. Leicester: DMU

Addressing the attainment gap through student and staff co-creation

Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, Special Issue

Ansley, L. and Hall, R. (2019) Freedom to Achieve: addressing the attainment gap through student and staff co-creation. Compass: Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol 12 (1)

Find out more about the project HERE and HERE.