Welcome to Team Spotlight – a light-hearted section in our monthly Connect e-bulletin (open to all – subscribe to it here) where you can learn about who we are at AccessHE and what we’ve been up to in the past month.
Vanessa: On Thursday 6th June, AccessHE were delighted to welcome a group of 38 year 9 and 10 girls to engage the HeppSY+, the Uni Connect operating in South Yorkshire. This day trip to London is part of HeppSY+’s She Can project, a motivational initiative which intends to boost confidence and aspiration among young women with the ability to study at higher education level but most at risk of not doing so. It was a long, but very informative day. I am now focusing all my efforts on the AccessHE Capital Summer School, delivered in partnership with Greater Manchester Higher, which we expect to run at nearly full capacity! Richard and I travelled up to Manchester on the evening of Wednesday 26th June to deliver a brief information evening to the applicants and their guardians. We look forward to seeing them all again at the end of July! Outside of summer school prep, I am also delighted to say that we are in the midst of piloting the AccessHE Online Linguistics course at the Billericay School in Essex. One group of students has already completed the pilot, with the possibility of another taking part next week. The AccessHE Online Linguistics course was produced in partnership with Make Happen, the Uni Connect operating in Essex, and University of Essex.
Tanyel: The sun has been a little shy but is slowly coming out of its shell – setting me up nicely for a holiday to Morocco! During early June, my focus was on the AccessHE Student Ambassador Forum. We welcomed staff and students alike from ten institutions where ideas were vocalised, discussions flowed and flipchart paper was scribbled on. The summer period will involve planning the project launch and celebration events and taking things forward with our Member HEIs and their Student Ambassadors. I then went into ‘event mode’ for the NEON Summer Symposium 2019, spending 2 insightful days at the University of Lancaster building new knowledge and networks. Our colleagues at NEON pulled off such a successful event, and we took inspiration from it in kicking off London HE Week with the ‘London Factor’, which saw the launch of exciting new AccessHE research in POLAR and other metrics for widening participation work. Check the event write up here and the report here – I’m an accredited author too! In other news, I’ve been shaping the University Information Day 2019 with AccessHE Disability Forum partners. In the coming weeks, I plan to meet with each Forum Chair using the sunshine to stimulate the brainwaves, reflect on the year and plan for the next in light of new context, opportunities and challenges for our Member HE providers.
Richard: The highlight of the last month for me was definitely our 2019 conference, The London Factor – you can read more about it in the separate feature in this issue. It was great to bring together so many organisations involved in widening access and social mobility in London, and the event sparked some really interesting conversations as well as introducing us to some new prospective partners! Over the coming weeks I will be meeting with them, and current collaborators too, to see how we can work together to deliver an outreach hub for London as per the core objectives of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme.
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