New partnership between the Sutton Trust and the University of Sheffield announced today 

Young people will be able to access the Sutton Trust’s UK Summer Schools at the University of Sheffield for the first time this year. The new partnership is announced today (10th January) as applications for the programme open. 

Each year, students on the Sutton Trust’s UK Summer Schools spend a week at one of 13 leading universities across the country, exploring one of over 40 subjects. Students get to experience university life and take part in taster academic sessions, application skills workshops and social activities. The programme provides lower-income young people with the confidence and skills needed to choose where to apply to university and what to study, and how to make a competitive application. It also allows them to find support through a network of like-minded peers. 

The programme will benefit over 2,500 students in-person this year, with 100 of these participating at the University of Sheffield. The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s top 100 universities. It partners with a range of industry leaders and is the best in the region for highly skilled employment. Sheffield will offer summer schools in Architecture, Biosciences, Engineering and History and English, providing less advantaged young people with the chance to explore what studying for a degree in one of these subjects is like. 

The Sutton Trust’s UK Summer Schools are open to all students in Year 12 in England and Wales, S5 in Scotland or Year 13 in Northern Ireland who attend – and have always attended – a state school or college in the UK. There are additional criteria which include having been entitled for free school meals, being the first in their family to attend university, attending a school with low rates of progression into university, living in a socio-economically deprived area and achieving 5 GCSEs at grades 6 to 9. Students who have been in care or looked after only need to meet the age, school and academic requirements.  

Students can apply to any of the 13 leading university partners no matter where they are located in the country, as all costs including travel, accommodation and food are covered by the Sutton Trust and university partners. 

Analysis of UCAS data found that young people who took part in a Sutton Trust UK Summer School between 2006 and 2016 were 4 times more likely to apply to a top university, 4 times more likely to receive an offer, and 4.5 times more likely to accept an offer from a top university, compared to their classmates with similar grades and from similar backgrounds. 

During the pandemic, the Sutton Trust also developed Sutton Trust Online (STO), an online platform which provides young people with access to information, advice and insights into university. Last year, the Sutton Trust was able to reach over 9,000 additional students through STO.  

Applications for the UK Summer Schools open on 10th January and close on 10th March. 

Jonny Tyndall, Head of University Access and Digital at the Sutton Trust, said: 

“Our UK Summer Schools are a great opportunity for young people to gain insights into university life and access opportunities that we know can make a real difference to their futures.  

“We are thrilled that the University of Sheffield is joining the programme and young people will now be able to access these opportunities through another brilliant partner university.” 

Heather Macleod Jones, Head of Access & Admissions Policy & Compliance Manager at the University of Sheffield, said:  

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Sutton Trust to deliver this exciting programme of summer schools. As a Russell Group university which is committed to widening access to research intensive institutions, we know the value of summer schools in preparing the way for students to succeed in higher education.  

Our offer will allow young people from across the UK to experience our intensive subject tasters, collaborating with other students, including those currently studying at the University of Sheffield, whilst developing the essential skills required to be a successful university student and preparing them to transition from school or college to HE with a clear sense of belonging.” 


  • The Sutton Trustwas founded by Sir Peter Lampl in 1997 to improve social mobility in Britain. The Trust has influenced government policy on more than 30 occasions; its programmes have to date given 50,000 young people the opportunity to change their lives; and it has published over 250 pieces of agenda-setting research. 
  • The University of Sheffield: 

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities. 

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. 

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in and develop solutions to society’s biggest challenges. 

Sheffield researchers use their expertise to tackle some of the biggest issues of our time together with partners ranging from SMEs to some of the world’s biggest companies, from across the South Yorkshire region, the UK and beyond. 

The University of Sheffield provides an outstanding student experience for its students, with the number one Students’ Union in the UK and both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that help its students stand out in the jobs market and develop successful careers after graduation, wherever they choose to live and work. 

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields. 

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations. To find out more, visit: 

  • More information on the UK Summer School programme can be accessed at:  
  • All travel costs and expenses for students are covered by the Sutton Trust and partners. 

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