Helping young people into university for 5 years

02 May 2017 23:50:43.887

A partnership that helps break down the barriers to higher education is celebrating its 5th anniversary.

Building on an existing programme of outreach work, The University of Nottingham joined forces with IntoUniversity in 2011. In that time this partnership has enabled an additional 9,100 local young people to receive support and encouragement to do well at school and go on to university.

The three community learning centres set up in Nottingham provide 7-18-year-olds with after-school support, university-student mentors, workshops and direct experience of university life.

Click here for full story

They help to address the fact that families from Britain’s poorest backgrounds face a considerable educational disadvantage and are far less likely to aspire to or attend university than other families.

The success of the programme has seen it extended for another three years.

Dr Penelope Griffin, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach at The University of Nottingham, said: “By working in partnership with IntoUniversity, we have more opportunities to inspire children and show them how to get results from hard work and commitment. We have been able to expand our reach into more primary schools and to work alongside more families in local communities. 

“Teachers tell us that the activities young children do with IntoUniversity help to show the link between achievement at school and getting a good job. After-school Academic Support helps young people to feel confident about their school work and their future. We look forward to working together to support even more young people in the coming years.” 

Dr Rachel Carr OBE, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of IntoUniversity, said: “IntoUniversity is delighted to be celebrating five years of partnership with the University of Nottingham. 

“From our three local learning centres based at the heart of the communities we serve, we have reached thousands of children and young people across the city of Nottingham, supporting them from a young age to aim high and achieve their educational potential. 

“We look forward to continuing our successful partnership with the University of Nottingham and watching our students thrive in the years to come.”

Achievements over the last five years have seen 393 young people link up with a university student for mentoring sessions and 114 Focus weeks take place. Focus weeks involve Year 6 classes attending a centre for a week to learn around a curriculum-related topic, from electricity to Macbeth, as well as finding out what university is. It involves input from students and academic volunteers, a trip and ends with a visit to The University of Nottingham for a ‘graduation’ ceremony complete with gown and mortar board. 

Members of the community have also praised the work of the centres.

The Bishop of Sherwood, the Rt Revd Tony Porter, said: “Having IU in the local community makes the community noticed, they feel important and wanted. There’s no question about that.”

The IntoUniversity centres in Nottingham Central, Nottingham West and Nottingham East, are part of the University of Nottingham’s Nottingham Potential programme, which represents a major investment in the future of primary and secondary-age school students.

Nottingham Potential builds on the University’s successful work since 2001 within less privileged communities, and aims to provide earlier, broader interventions for young people to raise aspirations and encourage progression to university. It has quadrupled the level of the University’s outreach provided — particularly in regard to work with primary and lower-secondary school pupils.

It was made possible through donations from The David Ross Foundation and other generous supporters. The David Ross Foundation was founded by David Ross, Nottingham law alumnus and co-founder of Carphone Warehouse. 

— Ends —

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

For up to the minute media alerts, follow us on Twitter

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and was named University of the Year for Graduate Employment in the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK for research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…


Story credits


Liz Cass - Head of Media Relations

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 748 4734 Location: University Park

Additional resources

No additional resources for this article

Related articles

Media Relations - External Relations

The University of Nottingham
YANG Fujia Building
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5798