Widening Participation

As well as providing outreach to schools and colleges across the country, the Widening Participation team can offer bespoke guidance to students who may need additional support in order to access Higher Education.

Our Widening Participation Officers can meet with students and/or their supporters to discuss the support Edge Hill can offer, and can also arrange bespoke visits to campus. To find out more about the support we can provide for specific students, please see the tabs below.

What is Widening Participation?

The term “widening participation” refers to the activity undertaken by institutions to develop and support the aspirations and attainment of students form different social groups who may not normally consider Higher Education as an option or are under-represented within HE.

Groups of students who may be identified in relation to widening participation include:

  • Students who are or have been eligible for pupil premium funding / Ever6 free school meals
  • Students from low participation neighbourhoods (where very few people go on to higher education)
  • Students who are the first generation in their family to go to university
  • Students who have experience of being in the care of their Local Authority
  • Students who are estranged from their family
  • Students who have caring responsibilities
  • Students living with a disability or mental health condition
  • Students from an ethnic minority
  • Students who have refugee status
  • Students from military families
  • Individuals who are returning to learning as mature students

Edge Hill University has a long-standing commitment to widening access to higher education, and the theme of opportunity for all is a key component of the institution’s vision.

As part of our Widening Participation work, we currently run both stand-alone events and extended outreach programmes which are designed to support aspiration to HE for students currently in secondary school who meet our WP criteria. For more information on these programmes, please visit our dedicated webpages.

For students in sixth form or college, who are considering entry into HE and meet our WP criteria, we can also offer bespoke 1 to 1 or small group sessions which are designed to support students during the HE application process.

Additionally, Edge Hill University runs a two-year Widening Access to Medicine programme which is designed to support local students from state schools who have the ability and personal attributes to be successful in their application for a place in medical school. For more information on the WAM programme, please visit our dedicated webpages.

The Widening Participation Team also work with three regional Uni Connect partnerships; Shaping Futures, Future U and Hello Future. The Uni Connect hubs were created by the Office for Students to offer impartial advice, guidance and activities to young people and their parents or carers, and new outreach hubs have been established to help teachers and advisors find impartial information about the outreach activity available in their local areas.

For more information on our WP outreach activity, please contact our Widening Participation team on wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk.

Students without Family Support

Students who have experience of Local Authority care or are estranged from their family may experience significant barriers to their education and subsequent progression to Higher Education.

At Edge Hill, we want to support care-experienced and estranged students to access and succeed within HE, and we offer students a variety of support both pre-entry and whilst studying on-course in order to help with this.

Our dedicated pre-entry point of contact in the Widening Participation team can offer bespoke information and advice on accessing Higher Education and can work with students on a 1 to 1 or group basis. Our member of staff can also visit students in their own educational institution, as well as organise bespoke tailored visits to the University campus to meet with current students and staff.

On-course student support

After students have started at Edge Hill University, they may also wish to access guidance and support from our on-course contact in Student Services. The dedicated member of staff can help students to make the most of their time at University and complete their course successfully. Student Services can also support eligible Care Leaver students to apply for the EHU Care Leavers bursary, as well as guidance in accessing potential employability development opportunities whilst on-course.

Furthermore, within the careers team, students can also talk to a dedicated team member about their career aspirations, finding part-time work or experience, or any potential barriers or concerns they may have regarding employment.

Finance and Accommodation Support

Eligible students may also be able to access an annual bursary of £1000 for up to a maximum of three years whilst studying at Edge Hill and may also be able to access further funding from our Student Support fund.

On-course students can also apply for a grant of up to £2000 from our Student Opportunity Fund to support a career-enhancing project, initiative or opportunity that will enrich their student experience and enable them to stand out in a competitive environment.

Care-experienced and estranged students studying at Edge Hill University may also be able to access a room in the University Halls of Residence for 365 days a year, for the three years of their degree course. If students do not wish to live in halls of residence on-campus, the Accommodation Team can also provide support in helping students to search for accommodation both during term time and the vacation period.

Our partnerships and pledges

We work with a number of organisations to help us extend and enhance our work with care-experienced and estranged students. Use the links below to find out more about their work:

NNECL: https://www.nnecl.org/pages/6-about

Stand Alone Pledge: http://www.thestandalonepledge.org.uk/champion-institutions/22-north-west/58-edge-hill-university

Care Leaver Covenant: https://www.edgehill.ac.uk/news/2021/04/edge-hill-signs-the-care-leaver-covenant/

Getting in contact

If you have any questions or would like more information, please get in touch with us via wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk and we will be happy to discuss the support available.

Our team also works with educational practitioners, school/college staff and Virtual Head Teachers to offer support to students in care/about to leave care and those supporting estranged students and would welcome enquiries from anyone seeking support from them.

 

Mature Students

If a student is 21 or over at the start of their studies, UCAS will consider them to be a mature student. At Edge Hill University we recognise and celebrate the skills, motivation and life experiences that this diverse group of students bring to University life. However, we also recognise that making the decision to come to University can be a difficult one as many mature students may have extra considerations to take into account. this could include, how they are going to fit study around existing practical and financial commitments, if they need to top up their level 3 qualifications in order to apply for a place at University and concerns around whether or not they are going to “fit in” at University.

We have a dedicated Mature Students WP Officer that can work with you and your students to help them address these issues, whether in group settings or on a 1 to 1 basis. If you would like to talk to our dedicated Access and Mature Students Officer, please contact Louise MacRae at wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk.

Dedicated activity

We offer bespoke mature student sessions on:

• Introduction to HE
• Subject sessions
• How to apply
• Personal statements
• Interview techniques
• Mock interviews
• Sent off your UCAS application? What next?
• Student finance

All of the above sessions can be delivered in your college setting and we are also happy to work with you to develop other bespoke sessions to suit your learners’ needs. Pre-recorded sessions can also be accessed.

We also offer one to one advice for students where necessary and they can also ask questions of our current students on TAP (The Access Platform). Via TAP they can access blogs and vlogs and chat to current mature students.

Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education is our own access programme, designed to enhance subject knowledge, study skills and IT skills. Fastrack is a 7-week programme that is free of charge and, on successful completion, will enable students to be considered for their chosen degree course. Further details can be found here: Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education (edgehill.ac.uk)

Financial Support

Mature students may also need some extra support around financial advice. We have a Student Finance presentation specifically designed for mature students which outlines the extra support that may be available to mature students. Students can also access one to one support from our Money Advice Team.

Individual Financial support enquiries can be made here: Money Advice – Student Services (edgehill.ac.uk)

Pastoral support

We are proud to say that we were voted by our students as offering the best student support in the North West in the 2020 WhatUni Student Choice Awards. Our student support covers all aspects of student life, both academic and personal and includes SpLD support, Money Advice, Wellbeing and Counselling and ongoing support from our award-winning careers team.

Mature and part-time students also have their own SU Officer that can advise and represent them throughout their time at University.

Getting in contact

If you have any questions or would like more information, please get in touch with us via wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk and we will be happy to discuss the support available.

 

Young Adult Carers

Young Adult carers are aged between 18 and 25 and care for or look after a family member, friend or other individual, due to disability, chronic or terminal illness, mental health difficulty or drug/alcohol dependency.

We recognise the challenges that Young Adult carers face when considering and choosing to study at University, as they will often be undertaking their caring responsibilities alongside their studies, which can be challenging.

To support students during their exploration and application to HE, our dedicated pre-entry point of contact in the Student Recruitment team can offer bespoke information and advice to Young Adult Carers on accessing Higher Education and can work with students on a 1 to 1 or group basis. Our member of staff can also visit students in their own educational institution, as well as organize bespoke tailored visits to the University campus to meet with current students and staff.

As well as our pre-entry support, students can also access the following support whilst at Edge Hill:

Student Support

After students have started at Edge Hill University, they may also wish to access guidance and support from our staff in Student Services. The team can help students to make the most of their time at University and complete their course successfully.

Furthermore, within the Careers team, students can also talk to a dedicated team member about their career aspirations, finding part-time work or experience, or any potential barriers or concerns they may have regarding employment.

Financial Support

Eligible students studying at Edge Hill could be entitled to apply for further funding through our Student Support Fund and can access guidance and support in applying for this from out dedicated point of contact in Student Services. On-course undergraduate and PGCE students at Edge Hill University can also apply for up to £2000 from the Student Opportunity Fund, in order to support a career-enhancing project, initiative or opportunity that will enrich their student experience and enhance their employability and transferable skills.

Getting in contact

If you have any questions or would like more information, please get in touch with us via wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk, and we will be happy to discuss the support available to students looking to access Higher Education.

We also work with educational practitioners and other school/college staff to offer support to students who may have caring responsibilities, and would welcome enquiries from anyone seeking support for their students.

Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Students

 

Pre-entry support - Access Programme

At Edge Hill we are committed to diversifying our student community and our research into supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students has highlighted that supporting students at pre-entry level can improve success particularly when it comes to choosing the right course, building confidence in accessing student services and feeling a part of the community.

We have devised an access programme that will not only provide the necessary information, advice and guidance for students considering HE, but also aims to offer tailored support on the above barriers and provide students with a head start for their post-18 journey. We are currently running a pilot year of the programme with schools and colleges in the North West and intend to extend the programme in the next academic year.

Pastoral support

Students who identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic can apply to be a member of our Student Advisory Panel and help to steer the Universities approaches to supporting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students. Students attend several meetings per academic year and can offer feedback on projects and events and discuss ideas for enhancing the experiences of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students at Edge Hill University. Panel members receive bespoke training from Careers for their involvement, and eligible students will earn points towards an Extra Edge or Competitive Edge certificate.

Financial Support

On-course undergraduate and PGCE students at Edge Hill University can also apply for up to £2000 from the Student Opportunity Fund, in order to support a career-enhancing project, initiative or opportunity that will enrich their student experience and enhance their employability and transferable skills.

Getting in contact

If you have questions or would like more information, please get in touch with us via wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk and we will be happy to discuss the support available.

Further support

Students from low participation neighbourhoods and those eligible for pupil premium

At Edge Hill, students from low participation neighbourhoods (quintile 1), and students who are eligible for pupil premium and free school meals are eligible for priority on our bespoke pre-16 activity days.

For more information about the support we offer students, please get in contact via wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk

Disabled students

Disabled students, or students who disclose a mental health condition are eligible for extra, specialised support from our dedicated Disability Support and Inclusion teams at Edge Hill. Support is available for all students from the first point of contact with the service.

For more information on the support we offer students, please get in contact via wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk

Students with refugee status

Edge Hill University provides a support package for two eligible students at any one time to help them achieve their Higher Education goals. This is in the form of a tuition waiver fee plus an additional £800 scholarship for the exclusive use of meeting the costs of books, course related materials and travel to and from the university. The scholarship is open to students ho are:
– Seeking asylum in the UK, or is a dependent or partner of someone seeking asylum
– Seeking asylum in the UK, or is a dependent or partner of someone seeking asylum who has been granted limited leave to remain or some other form of temporary status.

For more information on the support we can offer, please get in contact via wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk

Please note: Spouse/civil partner must have been the spouse/civil partner on the date which the asylum application was made. Children/step-children must have been aged under 18 on the date on which the asylum application was made.

Students from military families

Statistics suggest that children from military service families are under-represented in higher education. As a university that has always been dedicated to widening participation, we plan to work more closely with these groups in the future. We would also be very keen to hear from other institutions ad agencies that would like to get involved in this work.

Please get in touch via wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk

Getting in contact

If you have questions or would like more information on any of the groups listed, please get in touch with us via wideningparticipation@edgehill.ac.uk and we will be happy to discuss the support available.
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