Universities continue outreach with local schools

Tuesday, 08 November 2011


Oxford Brookes, the University of Oxford and Bucks New University have joined forces to continue to raise aspirations and educational attainment among young people from groups currently under-represented in English universities.

Oxford Brookes, the University of Oxford and Bucks New University have joined forces to continue to raise aspirations and educational attainment among young people from groups currently under-represented in English universities.

The new partnership will be known as Study Higher and will ensure the outreach work with targeted schools and colleges previously coordinated by Aimhigher across the Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (MKOB) region is maintained.

Aimhigher has now ended, but because it made a real difference to young people across the region the three institutions will now fund this new project to continue its success, through working together to ensure the delivery of a structured programme of activities.

Study Higher seeks to raise awareness of higher education, as well as improve pupils’ grades, building on the evidence which found that the more Aimhigher activities students undertook up to the end of year 11, the more likely they were to meet or exceed their GCSE predictions.

1,775 Aimhigher MKOB students have so far enrolled on higher education programmes with 62 per cent of these students coming from geographic areas with the lowest numbers of students who traditionally progress to higher education.

Study Higher will offer students in schools and colleges a wide range of activities to raise aspirations and knowledge of the opportunities that higher education can provide. It aims to encourage young people to consider continuing in education after the age of 16 by making them aware of the various higher and further education progression routes available.

Through the scheme, young people will be offered concrete skills to help them get into university, including study skills and help with preparing personal statements on application forms.

Edward Trewhella, UK Marketing Director at Oxford Brookes, said: 'It is fantastic that we can continue, and build upon, the successful work of Aimhigher. Evidence has shown that the activities undertaken made a significant impact on both attainment and progression. It is important that we continue to provide these opportunities to our local young people.'

Tara Prayag, Head of Widening Participation at Oxford University, said: 'We’re delighted to be able to continue this successful collaboration with our local university partners to deliver a large and diverse range of activities.'

Sally Cushing, Widening Participation Manager at Bucks New University, said: 'We hope to improve awareness of the range of higher education opportunities and progression pathways and to equip students with the information they need to make important decisions about their future.'