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?
- Students without Family Support
- Mature Students
- Young Adult Carers
- Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Students
- Further support
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
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
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
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.
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 email@example.com.
• 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)
Individual Financial support enquiries can be made here: Money Advice – Student Services (edgehill.ac.uk)
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
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:
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.
Getting in contact
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
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.
Getting in contact
Students from low participation neighbourhoods and those eligible for pupil premium
For more information about the support we offer students, please get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the support we offer students, please get in contact via email@example.com
Students with refugee status
– 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Please get in touch via email@example.com