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University of the Arts London

Evaluation of Enterprise Experience Programme

The brief

The Enterprise Experience Programme (EEP) was designed as an Access and Participation (APP) intervention to tackle the significant gap in progression to graduate employment or further study for students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.

The pilot was run during June and July 2023. Paid internships consisted of 50 hours of work, and interns could work in person, hybrid or online. UAL paid the interns, provided support throughout the internship and offered training sessions before and after completion to maximise the experience’s impact. Business included were all small creative businesses, set up by UAL graduates.

Shift were commissioned by UAL to evaluate the EEP’s impact in the short term. UAL will investigate medium and long-term impacts later on.

The approach

UAL used a theory of change to develop five criteria: short-term outcomes for students; short-term outcomes for businesses; medium-term outcomes for students; medium-term outcomes for businesses; and the overall system and processes. Shift adopted the following method to evaluate the short-term outcomes:

  • Phase 1: A baseline survey was conducted at the beginning of the programme to attain initial data around key indicators and was sent to participating interns and businesses. A follow-up survey was sent at the internship’s close to understand the experience for both interns and businesses, evaluating the EEP’s impact.
  • Phase 2: Interviews and analysis: Five 60-minute semi-structured interviews were conducted with students who had completed an internship, to follow up on survey responses and gain additional qualitative insight, with evidence and practical examples.

The value

We delivered a detailed report to UAL, incorporating findings from both phases of the research, outlining the findings of the evaluation process and our recommendations for programme development. In addition, we provided a ‘one-year on’ survey guide script, so UAL can conduct medium-term evaluation in the future. We provided evidence of the strengths, and suggested improvements that UAL could consider for the programme.