Leicester leads programme to raise aspirations for disadvantaged young people in the region

Our University is leading a programme that aims to raise the aspirations of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in targeted neighbourhoods in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has announced a new programme to increase participation in higher education across England, the National Collaborative Outreach Programme.

Under the scheme, 29 local consortia will receive funding to deliver activity under the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). The programme will launch on 24 January 2017.

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.

Our University is working in partnership with the University of Northampton, Loughborough University, De Montfort University, local schools and colleges to deliver a very targeted outreach plan in defined wards of the city and county. Their proposal includes virtual reality resources, mentoring, taster days and residential programmes.

The consortium has been awarded the maximum amount of £2,812,992 until December 2018.

Dr Hannah Ordoyno, Widening Participation Manager, said: “This project will enable us to engage those students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds in a sustained programme of activities over the next two years. We believe that our programme of mentoring, intensive residential activities and taster days will highlight the breadth of higher education available to these students in a collaborative and complimentary way.”

Professor Jon Scott, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience, said: “The University has a proud reputation as one of the most socially inclusive of all the research-led institutions and the award of this funding recognises the effectiveness of the work we are doing in supporting these students and will allow us to further strengthen our work to support students from different backgrounds in achieving success in higher education.”