"This is an extra layer of support that target schools can access and is in addition to the excellent work we currently do with schools and colleges in our region."
Georgina Kelly, Director of Marketing and PR
Staffordshire University will be reaching out to 1000 school and college pupils each year as part of a project to drive up the numbers of young people accessing Higher Education.
The University is one of five hubs in the £11.8m government funded Higher Horizons+ project to develop widening participation across Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire.
The initiative seeks to engage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and specifically members of ethnic minority groups and young men. Higher Horizons+ will receive an initial £5.9 million for the first two years in an attempt to double the amount of 18 year olds entering University from areas including Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe.
Director of Marketing and PR, Georgina Kelly said: “This is an extra layer of support that target schools can access and is in addition to the excellent work we currently do with schools and colleges in our region.
“The bid talks about the innovative education outreach we do with partners like Port Vale Football Club in low achieving areas of Stoke-on-Trent and we look forward to expanding our work in this area.”
“Staffordshire University also plays a leading role in the development and delivery of Higher and degree Apprenticeships and Higher Horizons+ will enable us to promote the progression route through to Higher Apprenticeships.”
Staffordshire University are currently recruiting a dedicated project team who will make contact with target schools and draw up agreements and project plans. Delivery of the project will begin in February with the promotion of residential summer schools to take place in July.
Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, the Association representing Modern Universities including Staffordshire, said: “Improving attainment and aspiration are key to encouraging more young people to engage in higher education and meeting the Prime Minister's ambition to improve social mobility.
“Modern Universities, which have been leaders in opening up opportunities to students who are the 'first in family' to study at university, have focused on geographic areas in which young people were less likely to think that higher education was for them.”
• Higher Horizons+ is part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme announced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England this week. Led by Keele, key partners are Staffordshire University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester University and Harper Adams University. A total of 80 schools and 25 colleges will benefit from activity including direct curriculum support, residentials, mentoring and information, advice and guidance.
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