13 Feb 2008 16:27:00.000
A campaign gets underway this week to help disadvantaged Nottingham teenagers work their way into Higher Education.
'Spring Board' will give black teenage boys from three schools in the city a behind-the-scenes look at The University of Nottingham, and hopes to raise the aspirations of the pupils.
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'Spring Board' will feature six events throughout the year, and the pupils will be given portfolios to keep a record of their experiences and contacts at the University.
On Wednesday 13 February Professor Herb Sewell will deliver a welcome address. Then the boys will be given an interactive tour of the University Park campus, which will include stops at the halls of residence, the Sports Centre and the student radio station URN.
The day's welcome tour will end with the chance for the pupils, their teachers and parents to put their questions to a panel of experts.
The year long campaign is organised by the Students' Union and The University's Widening Participation and Active Communities teams, the latter being the University's staff volunteering organisation.
Matt Gayle, Education Officer with the Students' Union said: "There seem to be perceived barriers between black teenage boys and university. They don't hold the institutions in high regard. As a by-product, the boys are limiting their opportunities.
"We are not saying they have to go to university, but I think it's important to show them, that no matter where they come from, they have options, and that there are numerous routes into Higher Education. Hopefully this will inspire them."
Sharon Clancy, Head of Active Communities, said: "The University is dedicated to raising aspirations, and we have a number of projects in the local community. 'Spring Board' is an extension of this work, and we're very excited about what we hope will become a sustainable project for the future."
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Notes to Editors: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THES) World University Rankings.
It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.
Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation - School of Pharmacy).
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for three years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.