Aspire Impact

Driving engagement, delivering better outcomes


The amount that was included in Flying Start really did make a massive difference during my studies. The available equipment, resources and trip allowances are tailored depending on the type of course you study. To be honest, these extras became an important factor for myself and other course mates when deciding on their university and choice of course.
Media and Communications graduate, Coventry University

Aspire Engage and Aspire Connect schemes are an important part of the overall package of financial and learning support that are offered to prospective and new students. In surveys, over 80% of students on Aspire schemes would recommend their university to friends.


For students starting in 2017 we will be offering an on-course support package as opposed to the cash bursaries we have allocated in previous years. Under the new scheme, which we plan to deliver via ‘smart card’, eligible students will receive a ‘cash credit’ which they will be able to spend on items which directly support their learning and achievement. For example, on: books; stationary; specialist equipment; or on other areas which support their employability. We believe this will enable us to enhance our student success and retention rates by targeting support more effectively.
York St John University

Improving retention rates is a common goal of universities and one of the main drivers behind introducing Aspire solutions. Aspire solutions drive student engagement and this in turn leads to better retention. As part of an overall strategy to improve progression rates, universities with Aspire solutions see measurable improvements and sometimes the results are dramatic as when University of East London reduced drop-out rates by 50%.

Student Experience

I found the tablet really useful in lectures to download PowerPoints and lecture information and then annotate my notes as the lecture is being given. Because the tablet is small and light, I bring it to uni every day, whereas if I just had a laptop I wouldn't. I use blackboard a lot on it and my uni emails.
Student, University of Worcester

The purpose of Books Plus is to support students with the cost of study resources and to encourage student engagement and a sense of belonging.
Director of Student Services, Anglia Ruskin University

Whether its engagement with learning resources or being able to join in with more on campus social activities, Aspire solutions can enrich the student experience. Universities that have implemented Aspire solutions have seen their NSS approval rating increase at almost twice the average over the last six years.

Learning Outcomes

The eTextbook project is the largest single student experience project at Middlesex. Whilst the investment may be high, the return is phenomenal. The project enhances our digital proposition, engages students more actively, helps drive achievement targets.
CFO, Middlesex University

Driving achievement targets and helping students with the cost of study are two benefits of Aspire solutions. In surveys, over 85% of students agree that Aspire Engage bursaries have helped with the cost of study and, more importantly, had helped them achieve better grades. Aspire Connect places learning resources directly into the hands students and allows lecturers to plan module and course delivery knowing all students have access to key resources.

The tablets have been invaluable in that we have been able to use whatever room we happen to be in - and also we can intersperse legal research in any lesson without having to book a computer lab. It is also helpful that everyone has the same device. Sessions have been more flexible and more engaging and interactive than I have ever given without the tablets.
Head of Law, University of Worcester

In addition, there is data from Aspire solutions that shows a positive correlation between student engagement with learning resources and progression and final degree outcomes.

Universities that have introduced Aspire Engage have seen their NSS results improve
at almost twice the national average.

To find out more about Aspire Engage can help drive student engagement, please contact, Matt Fooks, Group Board - Executive Assistant on