October saw the University launch a scheme in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and IntoUniversity to widen participation.
A collaborative effort between the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh has led to the opening of two learning centres designed to support young people from underprivileged backgrounds into further education. In conjunction with IntoUniversity, a charity established to improve attainment for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, the universities are keen to make higher education accessible to as many young people as possible.
On 5 October, IntoUniversity Govan opened its doors to young people aged 7-18 with experience of socioeconomic disadvantage, providing a safe and inclusive environment for young people of all academic abilities to work towards their individual aspirations. This is the first IntoUniversity centre to open in Scotland, with another opening in Craigmillar, Edinburgh earlier last month. A third centre is set to open in Maryhill in 2022. With 71% of IntoUniversity school leavers across their 32 centres in England progressing onto university, it is hoped that these new Scottish centres will see similar levels of success.
The opening of these centres comes at a time where a number of disadvantaged young people are likely to be struggling with their education, having lost several months of traditional learning and support to the pandemic. By offering additional spaces for students to receive support with their learning, both the universities and IntoUniversity hope to add to the efforts of local schools to ensure that underprivileged students are not further disadvantaged by the unfortunate circumstances of the last few months.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, Professor Sir Anton Mustcatelli believes that “the University of Glasgow has a civic duty to support and empower young people across our communities to reach their full potential”. He stated: “This new partnership contributes to Glasgow’s ongoing commitment to Widening Access to students from all backgrounds.
“We believe that these new centres will help prepare children from an early age to raise their aspirations and give them the confidence to see that going to university is a real, viable option for them.”