Every provider of higher education qualifications has long been working to improve the fairness of access to the education they provide. Despite this, different groups of people in the UK still experience Higher Education differently, both in terms of numbers of people getting to university and what happens next.
At Writtle University College our mission is:
'Transforming lives and the environment through inspiring education.'
The Widening Participation and Outreach team aim to achieve this by supporting promising young minds from currently underrepresented backgrounds. We seek to raise aspirations and awareness, support attainment and instil confidence in these students to make futures in the fields of animal, land and sport more appealing and accessible. We recognise that there are links to under-representation in higher education and broader social issues such as equity, inclusion and mobility. We work with state schools, colleges and sixth forms to help break these barriers and make students of all backgrounds see university as a realistic option for them.
In order to show our commitment to this aim, we have set the following highly ambitious targets in our Access and Participation Plan:
- Representative access by 2035
- Equal continuation by 2035
- Equal attainment by 2030
- Equal progression by 2035
Working with Schools & Colleges
Our work and strong relationship with schools and colleges are crucial to our access commitment to closing the gap in attainment and progression to higher education both at Writtle University College and nationwide.
We do this by providing a range of events and initiatives which help inspire students to consider higher education and raise the awareness of Writtle University College as a further and higher education provider. In addition to this, we also send a monthly outreach newsletter to teachers and advisers across the UK.
If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter or discuss how we can support your students, please get in touch using the details listed above.
Access and Participation
Our approach to access and participation work focuses on engaging with White working-class males, BAME, disabled and/or care experienced students of all age groups alongside mature learners.
The Access and Participation Plan has been developed with input from a wide range of staff across the institution and in close collaboration with the Students' Union. It is based on the latest developments in pedagogic research, providing an evidence-based critical and close evaluation of our outreach and access initiatives while simultaneously providing clear and ambitious targets for the future.
The barriers to higher education that underrepresented groups face are not exclusive to Writtle University College. For example, a report from the National Education Opportunity Network (NEON) found that more than half of the universities in England have fewer than 5% of White working-class students in their intakes.
In recognition of this, we strive to work collaboratively with other institutions and organisations to deliver some of our outreach work. Our team has partnerships and memberships regionally and nationally with groups such as Make Happen, HELOA and Landex, which connect Higher Education Institutions and impartial charity bodies.
You can download the most recent version of our Access and Participation Plan below. This pledge further outlines more expansive and sustained partnerships with schools, colleges, clubs and organisations. This approach seeks to ensure a more united action in raising the aspiration and attainment levels for disadvantaged young people.