|(c) The Daily Telegraph|
In an article in Prospect magazine, David Willetts MP has pointed to IntoUniversity's centres in Nottingham as an example of good WP practice. He writes,
'For many, the point at which admissions tutors are sifting through applications is already too late. Much of the really critical work to widen access to university happens long before. Nottingham University, for instance, begins after-school clubs with children in three disadvantaged communities at primary level.'
Whilst university is 'an astonishing leg-up', he writes that 'background still does matter in far too many cases'. There is still a clear imbalance in university applications, with only 19.5% of students from the most disadvantaged quintile applying for university, compared with 54% of those in the most advantaged quintile.
Willetts argues that universities should be investing in 'ideas that work' when it comes to outreach, and urges them to follow the advice of OFFA and HEFCE. Professor Les Ebdon, Director of OFFA, has also cited IntoUniversity as an example of best practice, and agrees that universities should invest in long-term schemes which persist throughout the school career.
As a charity, we work with universities like Nottingham and Bristol to set up centres in low Higher Education participation neighbourhoods where we deliver our mentoring, academic support and aspiration-building programmes.