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Wendy Fowle

Wendy Fowle is Senior Manager, Research and Evaluation (Widening Access and Success) at the Open University (OU).   She is responsible for the work of the Research and Evaluation team which includes the Widening Participation and LIfelong Learning journal, the biennial widening participaton conference, faculty roadshows and research, evaluation and scholarship projects.   She is also leads on the submission of theUniversity's Access and Participation Plan with the Office for Students, delivery of targets and the financial monitoring returns.   Her academic interests lie in adult education, widening participation and success in HE.  She is currently working towards a professional doctorate (EdD) exploring the extent to which the language used in government and institutional strategies support the needs of adult learners from disadvantaged backgrounds.  She is particularly interested in eliciting the student voice through the use of vignettes in her research, adopting a lifestory approach.    She has presented research findings on widening participation in higher education (HE) at a number of conferences and seminars and has published and contributed to journal articles and book chapters.  Wendy has extensive experience of successful project management (PRINCE2 qualified) including the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) funded project to understand the impact of outreach on access to HE for disadvantaged adult learners and the Higher Education Academy funded project Part-time Now.   She has also managed large projects funded by the ESRC, EPSRC and Design Council in her previous role within the Faculty of Business and Law at the OU. 

Selected publications and conference papers

Fowle, W. and Butcher, J. (2018) Supporting widening participation students into an online learning environment.  EADTU Annual Conference, Aarhus University, Denmark, October 2018. 

Fowle, W. (2018) ‘Supporting adult learners from disadvantaged backgrounds into HE’, Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, vol 20, no 3, July 2018.

Butcher, J., Clarke, A., Wood, C., McPherson, E. and Fowle, W. (2018) ‘How does a STEM Access module prepare adult learners to succeed in undergraduate science?’, Journal of Further and Higher Education. [in press].

Butcher, J. and Fowle, W. (2018) Outreaching: two approaches to outreach with adult learners from disadvantaged backgrounds (an an emerging evaluation toolkit).  In: Broadhead, Sam; Butcher, John; Hill, Michael; McKendry, Stephanie; Raven, Neil; Sims, David and Ward, Tom eds. Concepts of Value and Worth: National and International Perspectives on Widening Access and Participation. Forum for Access and Continuing Education, pp. 207–229. 

Fowle, W. and Butcher, J. (2017) ‘Do you have to be mobile to be socially mobile? Adult learners miss out (again!!)’ in Broadhead, S., Hill, M., Hudson. A., McGlynn, C., McKendry, S., Raven, N., Sims, S., & Ward, T. (eds), Widening Participation in the Context of Economic and Social Change, Forum for Access and Continuing Education (FACE) Conference Publication.