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University helps more local students gain access to higher education


The University of Bradford has seen an increase in applications from local secondary schools and colleges following a new campaign to get more young people in Bradford into higher education.

The latest figures show a 27% increase of 17 and 18 year olds applying to the University from the Bradford district, with an increase in nearly every ward in the Bradford constituency.

The increase is being attributed to a combination of outreach workshops and a new progression scheme introduced in September 2018. Outreach activities include one to one support and guidance from our dedicated Outreach and Widening Participation Officer Beth Crossfield, mentoring services, campus visits, workshops, transition activities and in some instances financial support.

The Progression Scheme is open to applicants from areas of low progression to higher education, care leavers or previously looked after young people, asylum seekers, refugees and mature applicants.  These applicants automatically receive an offer which is the equivalent of one A Level grade lower than the standard entry criteria.  There is also the opportunity for these applicants to engage in a number of events on campus to support their transition to university.

Mark Garratt, Director of External Affairs at the University said: “We have a fantastic outreach team who deliver some brilliant workshops in schools. The introduction of our progression scheme to help underrepresented groups gain access to higher education is seeing real results and reinforcing our commitment to get more young people into higher education.”

Mr John Tomlinson, Progress Leader Post 16, St. Benedict’s Sixth Form, said: “Many of our students are amongst the first generation in their family to consider university as an option.  Our students have been able to see with their own eyes what life at university is like through a series of successful workshops and seminars. These have not just promoted the exciting opportunities at the University of Bradford but rather the possibilities that all universities throughout the UK and abroad can offer our young people. 

“I am most grateful for the support and relationship that the team have offered the school, my students and indeed staff in school. Without them I am sure that a number of students would not have made the choice to attend University, they have in short, changed lives.”

The University of Bradford has a long established reputation of widening access to higher education, and in supporting a diverse student population to succeed in their academic careers, moving on to valuable, professional and managerial employment.  The Progression Scheme further supports this.