Twelve members of staff from The University of Nottingham, led by Vice-Chancellor David Greenaway, are to go the extra mile — or 1,100 extra miles to be precise — to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The team will cycle from the most north-westerly point on the UK mainland, Cape Wrath, Scotland to Dover on the South-East coast of England, to secure funds to support a range of outreach activities to help more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter further and higher education.
With last year’s John O’Groats to Land’s End challenge still fresh in the memory, the Vice-Chancellor — who turned 60 in March — recognises the task ahead as he strives to secure more than the £230,000 raised in 2011 for the Sue Ryder Centre for Research on Palliative and End of Life Care.
Leading from the front
Professor Greenaway said: “Last year was an amazing experience. Despite being pushed well beyond our comfort zones, the journey surpassed our expectations. The amount we raised was way beyond our initial target and the fantastic support we received throughout was invigorating and humbling.
“A new goal is in sight. Raising the aspirations of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and supporting them to raise and realise their ambitions is something I feel passionately about. It is a cause which will provide real inspiration and motivation for an even tougher challenge.”
Professor Greenaway has first-hand experience of the benefits of widening access to education. Raised in Shettleston in the east end of Glasgow, he was the first in his family to receive higher education. He was encouraged by teachers to stay on in school to complete his A levels and from there went on to study at Liverpool Polytechnic and The University of Liverpool.
Having benefitted from this opportunity, Professor Greenaway now oversees the University’s annual £7 million investment in bursaries and scholarships. But much more needs to be done in addition to providing financial support to those who actually secure a place at University. Nottingham Life Cycle 2 promises to generate further funds to raise aspirations among young people and ensure background does not limit the ambition of those with the ability to achieve academic excellence.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer, Professor Chris Rudd added: “This time the gloves are off and the cleats are on. I’ve abandoned the butcher’s bike and invested in some shiny new wheels. Not promising to be any faster than last year but it should look better in the photos!
“LC2 picks up a wholly different challenge. It will help those from economically or socially disadvantaged backgrounds to access higher education. This isn’t just important for individuals — it’s also critical to social mobility.”
Members of the public will also have the opportunity to get involved on Sunday September 2 2012. This year there will be three, free community events to mark the riders’ arrival in Nottingham. To find out more or for entry details, please visit: www.nottingham.ac.uk/lifecycle/getinvolved
More information can now be found about:
• Life Cycle — www.nottingham.ac.uk/lifecycle
• Life Cycle on Twitter — https://twitter.com/uonlifecycle
• The Life Cycle Team — www.nottingham.ac.uk/lifecycle/riders
• Impact: The Nottingham Campaign — www.nottingham.ac.uk/impactcampaign/nottinghampotential
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 42,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is also the most popular university in the UK by 2012 application numbers, and 'the world’s greenest university'. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings.
More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University aims to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.
Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…
Life Cycle 2: The money raised by the Life Cycle 2 project will go towards the Nottingham Potential strand of Impact: The Nottingham Campaign. Nottingham Potential will raise aspirations and support achievement by working with young people, teachers, schools and colleges in Nottingham and the East Midlands.
The University commits £8 million a year to widening participation. Nottingham Potential will build on this to significantly expand the University’s commitment over the next five years.
The full list of riders taking part is:
• Professor David Greenaway
• Professor Karen Cox
• Mr Steve Wright
• Mr Chris Jagger
• Mrs Kate Robertson
• Professor Chris Rudd
• Professor Nick Miles
• Dr Penelope Griffin
• Dr Neville Wylie
• Mr Gavin Scott
• Mr Michael Carr
• Professor Andrew Noyes