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Higher Education Understanding and Confidence is linked to HEON Engagement

1,082 students from 12 schools and colleges took part in this year’s HEON SurveyThe survey has shown clear links between

Students engaging with HEON activities


  • increased understanding of what Higher Education is about
  • increased confidence that they could progress to HE and be able to study there

The more of our activities students had participated in, the more likely they were to say that taking part had helped them better understand different aspects of higher education including:

  • The options available
  • How to apply
  • Student finance and the support available
  • The support available for students in HE
  • What it would be like to study at University
  • The skills required for studying there
  • The benefits of Higher Education and
  • What student life would be like

Students who had taken part in HEON activities were two to three times more likely to agree they had a better understanding of each of these factors, compared to those who had not taken part. 

In addition, when comparing the same students who completed the survey in both 2021 and 2022 there are increases in their understanding of HE.

Students who had engaged more with HEON activities were also significantly more likely to have greater self-belief and confidence.  Those who had attended 4 or more activities were more than twice as likely to agree they felt more confident to:

  • Progress to HE in the future if they wanted to
  • Make informed decisions about their future study or career path
  • Motivated to work hard
  • Make the change from school/college
  • Apply the skills required for HE study and
  • More confident in themselves

Comparing the same students between 2021 and 2022 has also shown a significant increase in their self-belief. In particular, many more said that HE was ‘for people like me’ and agreed they felt more confident in themselves.

Overall, our student survey provides clear evidence of programme impact from:

This supports the idea that a sustained programme, with multiple activities, such as those HEON delivers, is of benefit to students in increasing their HE knowledge and confidence. 

If you would like to see the full report click below. For further information contact Clare Robarts, HEON Senior Impact and Evaluation Officer