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Our education priorities

Our strategic approach to the best education

Our priorities are based on our strategic plan which runs from 2021 -24 and takes into account our learnings from the pandemic along with demographic changes in London, our student population and our regulatory obligations.

We have three main areas of focus: access, success and progress. Each area has its own plan, initiatives and funding to ensure that we are supporting students from all backgrounds to gain access, supporting them to succeed, and helping them develop professionally. A summary of each area is outlined below.

Our education priorities

Black student in Library

An inclusive learning community is important to us and we are proud that we have been able to build a diverse student population through our Widening Access initiatives.

  • Our students and staff come from 100 countries 
  • 17% of our undergrads are from West London boroughs - Hounslow, Ealing and Hillingdon - areas with historically low higher education participation rates as well as pockets of social deprivation 
  • 40% of our students are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds
  • 84% of our students are from state schools
  • 12% are registered with a disability

For Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students:

  • 45% are from BGM backgrounds
  • 14% are registered with a disability
  • 36% are from overseas

Improving Access

  • Access and Participation Plan - this details our commitment to improving access and participation among those groups of students which have not traditionally have access to higher high education. It is overseen by the Office for Students, the regulator for Higher Education institutions.
  • Outreach activities - learn more or find widening access activities
  • Applying as a widening access student -  for students for any of the backgrounds outlined above.

Contact us

If you would like to learn more about our activities or need support to apply to Royal Holloway, contact our Widening Access Team.



Two female students having a chat

Ensuring success

We are committed to ensuring that all students complete their degrees and realise their full potential. Our education projects, services and programmes ensure:

  • The transition to university is smooth and engenders belonging
  • Academic and pastoral support is robust and standardised across our six Schools
  • Students remain engaged whilst studying and are closely monitored for intervention support
  • There are work-based and research-based learning opportunities to encourage students to 'learn without walls'
  • Assessment is diverse and authentic 
  • Learning is flexible and students can seamlessly move from face-to-face to online learning activities 
  • Career preparation is embedded into our curriculum and students are actively thinking about their future

Closing the gaps

We aim to reduce the gap in degree awarding between students from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds by 2030. Some of our initiatives include:

  • Strengthening our approach to the transition to university through programmes such as Head Start and The Big Read, which you can read more about on our Supporting academic success page;
  • Offering an Integrated Foundation Year;
  • Financial support through bursaries to qualifying students from underrepresented groups; 
  • Ensuring open conversations about race through our Race Equality Charter Mark action plan;
  • Peer to peer mentoring for Black and Global Majority students (BGM);
  • Ensuring that all students can benefit from studying abroad through funding and other additional support;
  • Ensuring diversity among teaching staff so students can see themselves represented in all aspects of our learning community. 
  • Establising an Inclusive Education Board to monitor our progress in reducing inequalities. Current funded projects include improving BGM peer mentoring, the extension of Headstart, inclusive assessment, and early employability support
  • Providing funding for each School to tackle the awarding gap with emphasis on improving assessment practices and minimising alienation. Learn more about these projects on our Teaching Innovation page.

More resources:


Preparing students for life beyond the classroom is a key educational priority at Royal Holloway. We are committed to ensuring students:

  • Have some form of work experience before their final year;
  • Are in relevant work within six months of graduation;
  • Are able to take a year our before their final year to study abroad, volunteer or gain work experience;
  • Are building key meta-skills valued by employers well before they graduate; 
  • Who tend to encounter more challenges finding jobs (Black; students with disabilities) receive additional one to one support up to six months after graduation.

Our Careers Service delivers direct support to students and co-ordinates wider employability activity with a close relationship between the Careers Service, Schools and departments. We also run an extensive and award winning volunteering programme with opportunities in five areas: Community Action, Community Research, Social Action, Sports Volunteering and Volunteering Abroad. 

Details of how we embed employability within our curriculum can be found on our Embedding employability page. 

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