Brookes Bridges project wins national award

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

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Brookes Bridges, a programme of free short courses for adult learners from a disadvantaged area or background, has today won an award from the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON).

The NEON Awards 2016 celebrate success in widening access to higher education, and also recognise the students who have progressed to higher education from disadvantaged backgrounds and their journey.  

Brookes Bridges won the NEON Widening Access Initiative (Outreach) Award. The ceremony took place today (18 May) in London at the Palace of Westminster. Gordon Marsden MP, Shadow Minister of Higher Education, Further Education and Skills hosted and presented the awards.

I was very proud that my Brookes Bridges project was shortlisted, so to actually win the award today is fantastic! It is such a fabulous project that has enabled us to target and raise the aspirations of adult learners from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities in both Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.

Sobia Afridi, Brookes Bridges Manager

Sobia Afridi, Brookes Bridges Manager at Oxford Brookes University said: “I was very proud that my Brookes Bridges project was shortlisted, so to actually win the award today is fantastic!

“It is such a fabulous project that has enabled us to target and raise the aspirations of adult learners from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities in both Oxfordshire and the surrounding area.

“The students doing the courses are inspirational and hardworking and I am always so impressed with their commitment. I enjoy being able to help raise their levels of understanding about higher education and study options and also equip them with skills and greater confidence."

Oxford Brookes has been running Brookes Bridges for seven years. In 2013 it was nominated in the Commitment to Widening Participation category of The Guardian University Awards.  

The courses are delivered by Oxford Brookes and partner colleges in partnership with local community groups. The courses offered cover varied subjects, such as community journalism, IT skills, English language, study skills, leadership and degree taster courses.  

More information about NEON can be found on their website.