Systematic Literature Review of ‘Hard to Reach’ Students and Methods of Inclusive Engagement

This systematic literature review of ‘hard to reach’ students was conducted as part of the REACT project (Realising Engagement through Active Culture Transformation).

The review was undertaken to provide a more rigorous understanding of the key issues and challenges to defining who ‘hard to reach’ students are, and draw out empirically proven good practice in methods to engage these students. It was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as part of the REACT Project to support the work of student engagement practitioners and the Higher Education sector in developing inclusive practice. As developing good practice to engage ‘hard to reach’ students is a key focus of REACT, it was felt that greater clarity in how this term is being used within the literature, and how such students can be identified, was necessary for developing any such interventions.


Cassie Shaw, Owen Humphrey, Tali Atvars & Stuart Sims