press release
Published: 12 July 2023

University of Surrey shortlisted for the UK Social Mobility Awards

The University of Surrey’s Surrey Scholars programme has been shortlisted in the Innovation category in the seventh annual UK Social Mobility Awards 2023.

The UK Social Mobility Awards recognise and celebrate UK organisations that are making strides and creating initiatives to advance social mobility within their own workforce or beyond it. Organised by societal change charity, Making The Leap, the SOMOs were the first national awards dedicated to social mobility, which aims to raise awareness of social mobility by sharing the innovative work of forward-thinking organisations working to improve it. 

This year’s shortlist comprises of organisations and individuals from a variety of industries who have demonstrated their commitment to advancing social mobility and the efficacy of the initiatives they have created. 

The winners of this year’s event will be determined by our independent judging panel, made up of leading figures from business, charity, and the public sector. The judging panel is chaired by the HM Lord Lieutenant of London, Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE. Winners will be announced at an in-person awards gala at on Thursday 12 October 2023.  

Tunde Banjoko OBE, the Chief Executive of Making The Leap, said:  

“I am so pleased with the response to the 2023 UK Social Mobility Awards.  Social mobility is an increasingly important issue in our society, and the SOMOs were established to encourage those UK organisations, for whom social mobility is not their core business, to play their part in addressing it. The breadth and quality of entries we have received this year is an indication that UK business is up for the challenge.” 

Hollie Baker, Deputy Head of Student Experience (Widening Participation) at the University of Surrey, said: 

 “We are absolutely thrilled that Surrey Scholars has been selected as a finalist in this year’s Social Mobility Awards. The Widening Participation and Outreach Team and our fantastic team of Student Ambassadors work incredibly hard to develop and deliver this progressive and enriching programme, which empowers students to make confident, informed decisions about their future. It is so rewarding to see the impact of this work and to work in a sector that is committed to advancing social mobility.” 

At the University of Surrey, we know that education has the power to transform lives. We are committed to providing a diverse and inclusive culture which enables all students, staff and visitors to flourish regardless of their race, religious belief, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, or social background. We recognise that this enriches bout our academic community and educational provision, and that universities have a responsibility to support social mobility through widening participation. The University’s Widening Participation and Outreach Team works with underrepresented learners and their supporters in our local community, to encourage educational engagement, support the development of aspirations, expectations and attainment, and empower individuals to access and thrive in higher education. 

Amazon are the Gold Partners of the UK Social Mobility Awards 2023.  

Join the discussion:  


Twitter: @SOMOAwards - #SOMO2023 



Notes to editors: 

1. The UK Social Mobility Awards is organised by societal change charity Making The Leap, which has been supporting young people from less advantaged backgrounds for almost 30 years.  

2. The mission of the UK Social Mobility Awards is to promote the issue of social mobility and celebrate the businesses and organisations who are demonstrating excellence in this arena.  

3. This awards programme is for UK-based private sector and public sector organisations that have at least 50 employees*, universities and secondary schools, for who social mobility is not their core business. 

* Start-up of the Year is excluded from this criteria. 


For information call Making The Leap on 020 8962 1900 or visit 

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