University of Warwick to lead new collaborative in providing Higher Education to qualified but disadvantaged young people

University of Warwick to lead new collaborative in providing Higher Education to qualified but disadvantaged young people

COVENTRY, 20-Feb-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — The University of Warwick, as a part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) is working with nine schools and colleges across seven wards in Warwickshire to increase participation in higher education.

Paul Blagburn, Head of Widening Participation at the University of Warwick said:

“The University of Warwick is delighted to lead this new collaborative initiative designed to provide a real opportunity for young people and their families in the targeted Warwickshire wards to realise their potential and aspire to go to higher education. The programme will complement the University’s existing outreach work and will employ new staff to work directly with learners in the schools and colleges”.

Launched last week, the scheme will see a total of 260 higher education providers in England, collaborating with schools, colleges and other organisations to help more disadvantaged young people into higher education. These providers are organised into 29 regional consortia which will ensure all 997 of the local wards identified by HEFCE will be covered.

The University of Warwick’s Think Higher project aims to develop close partnerships with the schools in the local wards. Through these partnerships, the university will develop a better understanding of the barriers faced by young people in these particular areas, with local context being at the heart of the project. The Think Higher project will develop outreach activity that is responsive to the needs of the local area and can support schools with their work to ensure young people in Warwickshire have access to the higher education opportunities on offer.

Uly Lyons, Principal of King Edward VI College in Nuneaton said:

“King Edward VI College is very excited to be taking a leading role in the NCOP. We have a long and proud history of helping the young people of Nuneaton progress to university, raising their aspirations and life chances as a result. We are aware that within the current economic context the prospect of university may seem daunting to young people locally and their families. I’m confident the project will have a significant impact on ensuring that more young people in the area do fulfil their potential and progress and progress to university. In particular I’m excited about the joined up approach we are taking, ensuring that schools, colleges and universities are all working together in a collaborative way to help students reach their potential and improve the quality of life for themselves, their families and the local area in general.”

HEFCE aims to increase participation in higher education across England, the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). With funding of £60 million per year, the programme will drive a step change in the progression into higher education of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, including members of ethnic minority groups and young men.

A large-scale evaluation programme will measure the impact of the programme from the start, at local and national level, including national data analysis, longitudinal tracking, qualitative research and randomised control trials. The aim will be to build a powerful evidence base to ensure that investment is concentrated in activity that is shown to be the most effective.

Read more about the University of Warwick’s Widening Participation and Outreach work:

Read more about the National Collaboration and Outreach Programme (NCOP):


Warwickshire schools and colleges involved in the NCOP:

Hartshill School of Science and the Arts, The Avon Valley School and Performing Arts College, Nicholas Chamberlaine School, The George Eliot School, The Queen Elizabeth Academy, St. Thomas More Catholic School and Sixth Form College, North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, Warwickshire College, King Edward VI Sixth Form College


Alex Buxton
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