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News | Employability

UPP Foundation Awards The Bridge Group £16k

Research grant to help boost student employability


The UPP Foundation, a charitable trust created by University Partnerships Programme (UPP) to help tackle the biggest issues facing the higher education sector across the UK, has today awarded The Bridge Group £16,000 in research funding to help explore how universities can support the outcomes of students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The latest grant is in keeping with the UPP Foundation’s pledge to support projects that enhance young people’s social capital and skills development, and improve student employability. Some of the main aims of the commissioned research are to build knowledge and understanding of effective policy and practice in careers services supporting students from less advantaged backgrounds, as well as improving communication between careers services teams and employers.

Dr Paul Marshall, Chair of the Board of Trustees at the UPP Foundation, said: “Graduate outcomes is an extremely important issue, and while there has been much research undertaken on this matter in relation to students with a lower socio-economic status, there is a dearth of evidence from which to support policy formation.

“The UPP Foundation recognises the unique difficulties that can arise for students within this group when it comes to employment after university, and through our partnership with The Bridge Group, we aim to provide a coherent understanding of effective policy and an evidence base from which institutions can draw. The Bridge Group has a track record of inspiring policy and practice to promote more equal access to the professions and so we are very proud to sponsor their efforts in this instance.”

Nik Miller, Director of The Bridge Group, a charitable policy association that researches and promotes socio-economic diversity, commented: “We are delighted that the UPP Foundation has supported an exciting programme of research that will explore key policy issues, highlight best practices across the sector, and design recommendations for Government, universities and employers. We look forward to sharing our findings, and to working with the UPP Foundation in pursuit of better graduate outcomes for students from less advantaged backgrounds.”

The research will entail an outline of the policy landscape and key implications, alongside 15 exemplar case studies from a wide range of institutions with key recommendations extracted from each. A launch of the reports’ findings will be held at a high-profile event in London in March 2017.

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