The Goldman Sachs Foundation and the Sutton Trust are working together to fund an Academic Enrichment Programme to attract 900 gifted students in areas of deprivation in the immediate vicinities of Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham universities.
Over a period of three years, The Academic Enrichment Programme will aim to attract high potential students from non-professional backgrounds or from families with little tradition of higher education and who attend state schools with a low rate of progression to higher education. The programme, which will cost about £1m, will begin in September 2007 to attract 100 students a year to each of the three universities. It follows research which shows that young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more debt averse and, in the light of this year’s introduction of top-up fees, more likely to want to stay with their families to reduce costs and maintain local friendships.
The three cities have been chosen because of their low progression rate to higher education (25% in Manchester and Birmingham and 15% in Nottingham compared to young participation rate of over 30% and national participation rate of 43%).
“In the most deprived areas of all three cities, within a short distance of University libraries, lecture halls and student residences, only one young person in ten actually ends up as an undergraduate,” said Stephanie Bell-Rose, President of The Goldman Sachs Foundation. “The Goldman Sachs Foundation is delighted to be working in collaboration with the Sutton Trust and the Universities of Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham to help talented students realize their potential and acquire critical skills that they will need to succeed in a global society.”
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, the educational charity which he set up in 1997 to help non-privileged children, said: “Research by the Sutton Trust shows that each year there are some 3,000 students from state schools who have the necessary A-level grades to attend the UK’s leading universities but who – for a variety of reasons – end up elsewhere. I am delighted that we will be working in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation to break down these educational barriers”
“Over the life of the project we will be active in persuading the Government and other institutions to adopt the Academic Enrichment Programme model more widely across the education system.”
The Academic Enrichment programme was piloted at the University of Durham in 2003. It was sponsored by the Sutton Trust, the Ogden Trust and local development agencies. Students are selected at age 16/17 to go to a one-week’s Summer School. They have two follow-up or revision sessions during the next year. They receive mentoring and e-mentoring from current undergraduates and are given leadership training and personal development programmes.
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