Anglia Ruskin to lead Cambridgeshire network

Published: 12 January 2015 at 10:26

New scheme will promote the benefits of higher education across the county

Anglia Ruskin University is leading a new network in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to help more young people in the county enter higher education, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The new scheme, which is benefiting from £290,000 funding over the next two years from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is part of a £22million national outreach scheme launched by the Government.

A local network is being formed, led by Anglia Ruskin and involving, amongst others, University Centre Peterborough and the College of West Anglia.  Members will work together with schools and colleges to highlight how higher education can change people’s lives.

It will also host a website containing information about outreach activity, and signpost other information to support schools and colleges as they prepare their students for higher education.

The network will work most closely with schools and colleges which have relatively few pupils who go on to university, but will offer a gateway to information for all state-funded schools and colleges in Cambridgeshire.

Head of Outreach and Recruitment at Anglia Ruskin University, Rachel Nedwell, said:

“At Anglia Ruskin we believe that young people should be given every possible opportunity to succeed, regardless of their background.”

“This new network will provide a single point of contact so teachers and advisers can easily find out about activities in their area aimed at showcasing the inspirational opportunities offered by higher education.”

“They will also be supported to provide the best possible advice to anyone thinking about going on to higher-level study.”

Chris Chang, Pro Vice Chancellor at Anglia Ruskin, said:

“We are delighted to be leading this important project which will provide invaluable advice to young people, particularly in the region’s ‘cold spots’ which have significantly fewer people entering higher education.”

The national scheme – the National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO) – is being overseen by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).  There will be a total of 35 local networks across the country plus three more national-level networks created to offer advice and support to specific groups of students.

Greg Clark, Minister for Universities and Science, said:

“Higher education is a transformational experience and the future of the UK economy depends on having highly-trained graduates so it is vital that young people have the right information about progressing into higher education.

“This programme will ensure that schools and colleges across England can help their students learn about higher education in the classroom, online and through local outreach activity.

“A record number of students entered higher education in 2014, with entry rates for students from disadvantaged backgrounds increasing by over 10% to its highest ever level. However there is still more work to do to ensure all students who want to study hard can benefit, irrespective of their background.”