The University of Wolverhampton has secured £8m in funding to help increase the number of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds progressing into higher education.
The National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) is part of national scheme delivered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) which will see a total of £60m awarded to consortia which were invited to submit proposals for funds to work collaboratively on outreach programmes in specific local areas.
The programme aims to support the government’s goals to double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education (HE) by 2020, increase by 20 percent the number of students in HE from ethnic minority groups and address the under-representation of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE.
The university will collaborate with Black Country Further Education colleges, City of Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell and Halesowen as well as Telford College of Art & Technology (TCAT) and New College Telford. The name of the consortium is ‘Aspire to HE.’
Jackie Dunne, deputy vice-chancellor (access and lifelong learning) at the University of Wolverhampton, said: "We’re really pleased to have been selected to lead on the Aspire to HE consortia which will deliver an extensive and exciting programme of collaborative working across specific wards in the Black Country and Telford.
"Our focus will be on engaging with schools and colleges where progression to university or HE is low overall or lower than expected given the GCSE attainment levels. We will be providing master classes, taster sessions, summer schools, support for English and maths as well as information, advice and guidance – all with a view to inspiring thousands of pupils and students to progress to study at a higher level."