Realising Opportunities (RO) is a unique collaboration of 15 leading universities. Led by Newcastle University, the project aims to promote progression for able students from under-represented groups to research intensive universities in England. Working together, Partners have developed a single, national supported entry route that gives participating students the chance to progress to any one of the 15 Partner institutions. RO began with a HEFCE funded pilot from 2009 -2012, and since then has been funded by Partner universities. The project won the Times Higher Education Award 2011 – Widening Participation Initiative of the Year.
“The RO Central Team, based at Newcastle University, has worked with DX Net Solutions since February 2010. It was quickly determined at the start of the Partnership that a secure, online resource was needed for the effective management and delivery of the project by both the Central Team and staff at all Partner universities. DX Net Solutions provided RO with a bespoke product that met all the needs of this unique, national project, including being straightforward to use (given that users are spread across the country) and easily accessible.
“Upgrades have been made since 2010, and significant new functions added as the project and its needs have matured. Developments have included an area for Academic Tutors from the Partner universities to mark student work, custom exports and online application system. All are major functions crucial to allowing sustained and scalable growth for RO. These developments have been successfully and smoothly managed by Lead Developer Simon Wilkinson and the team who have always worked closely with RO staff to ensure that the database is user-friendly and delivers the outcomes required.
“The day-to-day support offered for the database is second to none, with fast response times and accurate (and friendly!) service.” – Barbara Herring, Senior Project Manager.