University joins forces to help more young people access higher education

PUBLISHED: 14:29 19 January 2015 | UPDATED: 14:29 19 January 2015

Students of the University of Gloucestershire / Photo: Richard Bailey

Students of the University of Gloucestershire / Photo: Richard Bailey

Richard Bailey Photography

The University of Gloucestershire is celebrating the news that it will receive over £250,000 of funding to lead a network of local education institutions as part of a new national scheme that aims to encourage more young people into higher education.

The National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO) will deliver a nationally co-ordinated approach to working with schools, universities and colleges to help people access higher education.

Hartpury College, Gloucestershire College, the Royal Agricultural University and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College will join forces with the University of Gloucestershire to form a network that will ensure comprehensive coverage throughout Gloucestershire.

The Gloucestershire network will receive over £250,000 spread across 2 years (academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16) and will be one of thirty five local networks to cover the whole of England. The partnership will provide as a single point of contact to help teachers and advisers find out about higher education outreach activity in their area and to provide general advice about progression into higher education.

This announcement will allow the partnership to provide much needed progressive programmes of outreach, reaching younger audiences in a more sustained way, as well as designing electronic resources and other innovative learning aids.

Each local network will host a website with information about outreach activity, and signpost other information to support schools and colleges as they prepare their students for higher education. This programme will ensure that schools and colleges can help students learn about higher education in the classroom, online and through local outreach activity.

Stephen Marston, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “We are very pleased to receive this news from HEFCE. We firmly believe that creating a local network for outreach that covers Gloucestershire with our partners will further build on the valuable work that we already do.

“It is tremendously important that young people in Gloucestershire have the correct information about progression into higher education. We aim to educate, advise and inspire students to consider higher education, especially for those who may not have previously considered it an option.

“Working with our partners, Hartpury College, Gloucestershire College, the Royal Agricultural University and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College will help us provide more comprehensive coverage throughout the county, supporting schools, colleges and local groups in promoting progression into higher education.”

The networks are funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), whose main role is to allocate funding from the Government to universities and colleges.

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