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News | Access & Retention

UPP Foundation Grants £20k to The Access Project

New project will develop innovative support programme for disadvantaged students

The UPP Foundation has today announced it is to fund an innovative support programme for disadvantaged students set to attend university.

Working in partnership with The Access Project, the leading charity that helps bright students from disadvantaged backgrounds win places at top universities, the project will build support structures for the charity’s alumni – many of whom will be the first in their families to attend university.

The Access Project will trial interventions to see which are most effective in supporting young people who were part of the charity’s in-school programme as they move on to being undergraduates. Insights from the new project will be fed back into The Access Project’s work in schools to improve its university readiness and transition to university support, with the specific goal of not just widening disadvantaged students’ access to top universities, but increasing university retention as well. Currently, the charity’s support stops on A-level results day.

Welcoming the partnership Andrew Berwick, Director of The Access Project, said:

“Over the ten years The Access Project has been running we have had significant success in supporting students to improve their grades and to gain access to top universities. We have felt for some time that our support should continue into the university years and now, thanks to the generosity of the UPP Foundation, we will be able to find out if there are meaningful interventions we can make.”

Commenting Richard Brabner, Director of the UPP Foundation said:

“Increasing access and retention is one of the key issues the UPP Foundation works to address in partnership with the higher education sector. Ensuring that young people with the brightest minds, regardless of background, finish their university courses is vital in ensuring a better and more equitable HE system, so we are delighted to support The Access Project in this work and look forward to seeing the results.”

In September 2018 around 230 Access Project students will go to university. The charity will have supported them in their journey to higher education by providing a volunteer tutor to work with them for an hour a week across years 10-13, building their knowledge of universities and courses, and by providing support and advice on applications and interviews.

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