The end of the academic year brought with it the end of our Uni Connect pilot programme. In total the programme engaged with over 100 learners from six different schools in the London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Havering. The cohorts came from Years 10 and 12 and were selected because they meet the Uni Connect criteria of living in target wards where the HE participation of young people is both low and much lower than expected based on GCSE-level attainment.
As part of the pilot programme, Year 10 learners took part in outreach activities delivered by four AccessHE member HEIs in their schools. The sessions, delivered by London South Bank University, the University of Hull, University for the Creative Arts and Ravensbourne, covered topics such as focusing on future choices, student life and finance, and aspects of creative higher education. For Year 12 learners we organised two HE Experience events, one held in a local school and the other at LSBU, where learners had the opportunity to hear about current students’ own experiences of HE and take part in workshops on preparing to apply.
Results from the pilot programme will now be evaluated and preparations for delivering in 2017/18 have already begun. The new academic year will see our Uni Connect offer expanded to learners across Years 10-13 as well as bringing on board more schools in both the target boroughs, with the aim of working with more learners. We are also looking to engage more of our member HEIs in our Uni Connect programme. If you would like to register your interest in working with the learners from low participation neighbourhoods in Barking and Dagenham and Havering, please contact AccessHE Uni Connect Manager, Naz Khan, at email@example.com.