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News spotlight

World Access to Higher Education Day

November 17, 2022

A teacher’s guide to working with Edge Hill’s Widening Access and Participation Team.

Widening Access and Participation at Edge Hill

With over 70% of our students having one or more Widening Participation characteristic, Edge Hill University has always attracted and supported a diverse range of students since our establishment in 1885. The theme of opportunity for all is central to our University mission, and we strive to take a whole-institution approach to Widening Access and Participation activity. This stretches across the student lifecycle, ranging from bespoke pre-entry support from our Widening Access team to Careers advice for three years after a student graduates.

The team offers tailored pre-entry information and guidance to students from underrepresented backgrounds throughout the research and application process and continues to support and signpost students if they decide to study at Edge Hill University.

How can teachers and supporters work with the Edge Hill Widening Access and Participation team?

Extended outreach programmes

Our three Widening Access Officers offer a combination of pre-entry targeted outreach programmes as well as bespoke standalone activities for students to get involved with. We are continually working to expand and adapt this activity to the needs of our students and the team are always happy to hear from teachers, advisors, local authority staff and community groups who are interested in working together or bringing students onto campus.


Currently, the team offers the Diversity Access Programme for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic students in Year 12 of Sixth Form or first year of college, as well as an extended programme of activity for mature students. These are both bespoke programmes which focus on building the relevant skills, knowledge and confidence for students to successfully apply to university and make the most out of their time once they’re here.


Further to these two programmes, we are currently developing two pre-entry Access Programmes; one for neurodiverse students and one care leavers, care experienced, and estranged students.


If your school or college would like to find out more about our programmes or would be interested in being involved in the pilot programmes please do get in touch.

Standalone activity

The Access Team offers bespoke information, advice and guidance to students from Widening Participation backgrounds, with a particular focus on:

  • students who are the first generation in their family to go to university
  • students who have caring responsibilities
  • students who have refugee status
  • students from military families
  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students
  • mature students
  • care leaver, care experienced, and estranged students
  • students with disabilities

This includes tailored smaller campus visits, and events and activities that run in partnership with local organisations such as our UniConnect partners and local authorities.

 A student lifecycle approach

Once at university, students have access to a range of support services including our Money Advice Team, Counselling and Wellbeing Team, Student Support Team, Faith and Community Team, Inclusion Team and SpLD Team, and our UniSkills Team. These teams cover a range of topics, including mental and physical health, student finance, budgeting health checks, Student Support Plans, examination arrangements, and pastoral and faith support.

Enhanced provision is in place for some of our WP students; this has been informed by current students with relevant lived experience.

For care experienced and estranged students, or those in kinship care, students may wish to stay in halls of residence for 365 days of the year including free on campus accommodation during summer through applying to the Student Support Fund. Students may also be eligible to apply for the Care Leaver Bursary and would be supported through the application by a dedicated contact.

For students with disabilities, our Inclusion Team can provide a Student Support Plan, which would advise on suitable exam modifications and alternative assessments They can support students to get an adapted room on campus, and provide advice and support around applying for Disabled Students Allowance (DSA).

All Widening Participation students also have a dedicated contact in Careers to support them with career and employment advice both during their time at university, and in the three years after they graduate.

Finally, facilitated by our Widening Participation Officer, our five Edge Hill Student Advisory Panels for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic students, mature students, disabled students, first generation students and care leaver, care experienced, and estranged students offer these groups the chance to discuss their experiences with others from similar backgrounds, and help to inform the design and delivery of a wide range of university services and activities.

What next?

If you would like more information on how to get involved with the Widening Access and Participation team visit our pages, or email us.

To find out more about available student support, visit the Student Services pages.

November 17, 2022

Enquiries

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