Brookes Engage part of ‘the skills ecosystem’

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Brookes Engage graduates

Brookes Engage, a programme which offers higher education opportunities for students from under-represented backgrounds is highlighted by University Alliance in a new report today (Tuesday 16 August).

The report, Developing productive places: The role of universities in the skills ecosystem, argues that combined authorities should make the case for more levers to shape skills policy, boost productivity and develop regional strengths, working alongside higher education institutions to ensure they are used effectively.

Accompanying the report are 12 case studies demonstrating the vital role of universities in delivering skills rich courses for a diverse range of students and meeting the UK’s skills needs.

The ‘Outreach and widening participation’ case study focuses on the Brookes Engage programme, which offers Year 12 students across Oxfordshire the opportunity to gain an insight into higher education.

The 18-month programme was developed for students who come from backgrounds which are under-represented in higher education and provides them with experiences that develop skills and attributes beneficial both in the world of study and employment.

The Brookes Engage programme gives students opportunities to study a range of subject areas such as mathematics, politics and midwifery, and take part in workshops and activities, all helping to grow their confidence, skills and career opportunities.

Charlie Field, Project Manager for Brookes Engage, Oxford Brookes University

Charlie Field, Project Manager for Brookes Engage at Oxford Brookes University said: “At Oxford Brookes widening participation activity and reaching out to a diverse group of students is a key to what we do. The Brookes Engage programme gives students opportunities to study a range of subject areas such as mathematics, politics and midwifery, and take part in workshops and activities, all helping to grow their confidence, skills and career opportunities.

Last month we were delighted to see the first cohort of Brookes Engage students successfully graduate. 92 per cent of them hold an offer to start university this September which is a testament to both them and the success of the programme.”

Cohort 2 of  Brookes Engage started in November 2015 and are currently taking part in their residential intensive summer school.

More information can be found on the  Brookes Engage webpages.

Today's report is part of University Alliance’s Regional Leadership series. They have produced a number of reports this year focusing on the leadership role of universities as anchor institutions in cities and regions, working within wider ecosystems and responding to common real-world challenges in an enterprising, innovative and creative way.  

The report, other case studies and more information can be found on their website.

Image: The first cohort of Brookes Engage students graduated last month