We believe that everyone with the potential to benefit from higher education should have the opportunity to do so, whatever their background. Taking on the challenge of widening access, participation, progression and achievement is a crucial part of our mission.
Widening Participation at UWE
UWE has a long standing commitment to widening participation in higher education to young people and adults who might not traditionally be expected to benefit. This commitment is evidenced in our University Strategic Plan, annual Access Agreement andInterim Widening Participation Strategic Statement.
Widening participation in higher education at UWE encompasses the full student life-cycle and includes:
- Pre-entry: Aspiration and awareness raising, improving attainment, supporting progression opportunities and preparation for higher education.
- Access and admissions: Support with applications, specific 'compact schemes' which take account of contextual information and enhanced admissions procedures.
- Retention and success: Personal, social, practical and academic support for all.
- Achievement and graduate level employability: Supporting students to achieve their full potential and equip them with the experience and skills to progress to employment or further learning on completion of their higher education studies.
Schools and Colleges Programme 2012-13
We have an extensive programme of widening participation outreach which is delivered by specialist staff, key academic staff and numerous UWE Student Ambassadors. The outreach programme includes:
- Primary Schools Programme – including mentoring and tutoring, visits to UWE and support with transition at Year 6.
- Secondary Schools Programme – including visits and taster days at UWE, support with PHSE, career and information sessions, mentoring and tutoring, awareness raising and curriculum support.
- Programme for 16 – 18 Year Olds – including UCAS application preparation and UCAS Fairs, the Heading Higher Passport Plus compact scheme, and the Talent Ticket in partnership with the BBC.
- Programme for Adults – raising aspirations to and preparation for higher education as well as support on courses. Includes the 'Get Set for HE' summer school for Access to HE Diploma students.
- A bespoke programme for Looked After Children.
- A revised programme of free residential summer schools.
Local and regional educational partnerships
We work in partnership with local and regional schools and colleges, local authorities and partner higher education institutions.
Our commitment to supporting the development of trust schools and academies in the locality is nationally recognised. UWE has been actively engaged in academy sponsorship since 2002, when it became the first university to sponsor an academy (City Academy, Bristol).
We have a UWE Federation partnership of 11 Further Education Colleges delivering a range of Foundation Degrees and working with us to support diverse progression to higher level study. We are also working with our partners to develop Higher Apprenticeships.
Widening Participation recognition
Frank Buttle Trust Quality Mark for Care Leavers in Higher Education
In 2012, UWE was awarded the Buttle Trust Quality Mark for Care Leavers in Higher Education for the second time. The Quality Mark commits us to providing a high level of support for Care Leavers that starts well before they arrive and continues throughout their time at the University.
Xcel Best Institution of Widening Participation 2009
UWE Bristol was named as the Xcel Best Institution of Widening Participation in 2009. The award was given in recognition of our work in supporting learning and raising the aspirations of young people and adults from a multi-ethnic and minority group background. Our work was judged to combine excellence with impact.