press release
Published: 14 December 2016

Surrey wins funding for new collaborative outreach partnership

By Peter La

The University of Surrey’s Widening Participation and Outreach (WP&O) team has been awarded £863,607 in funding by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to lead a new collaborative outreach project through the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), launching in January 2017. Surrey is one of 29 local consortia to be funded by the programme which aims to double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education (HE) by 2020.

Students and teacher working in front of computers

Thanks to this funding, the WP&O team is able to continue a collaborative outreach network with eight local partners with Surrey as the lead institution. The Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) will deliver a programme focussed on pupils in Years 9 to 13. Staff at the partner institutions will be funded to work collaboratively and inform young people of the variety of opportunities available at university, and how to navigate the path towards an HE course. 

This collaboration will complement the ongoing work of the WP&O team, providing young people from groups unrepresented in HE with relevant information, advice and guidance to make informed decisions about their educational pathways. 

The HEON consortium consists of higher and further education partners, and other key local organisations, and will deliver highly targeted collaborative outreach in 11 specific wards within Surrey and North East Hampshire. These wards have been identified as areas where the proportion of young people progressing to HE is low overall, and lower than expected given their GCSE attainment levels. 

Professor Shirley Price, Office of the Vice Provost- Education and Students, said: “The University of Surrey is delighted to be part of this National Collaborative Outreach Programme, and I am delighted to be working with our partners to address the Government’s priority to support rapid progression to higher education by students from our target wards.” 

The NCOP funding will support the development of previous collaborative outreach work delivered by HEON, which has grown from four to eight local partners: 

  • The University of Surrey
  • Farnborough College of Technology
  • Guildford College
  • North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT) Royal Holloway, University of London Surrey County Council Surrey Sports Park University for the Creative Arts

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