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.
The Sutton Trust is concerned that more than twice as many girls than boys aged 16 from state schools are applying to its free one week summer schools held every July at top-ranked universities.
These are especially run for students from non professional homes who will be the first in their family to go to university or come from schools which send few or no students to leading universities.
Applications for next year’s summer schools at Bristol, Cambridge, Nottingham, Oxford and St Andrew’s universities opened on-line this month using a new application system developed and run by UCAS.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, is making a special appeal to sixth form boys not to be shy and to put themselves forward. He said: “We have always had a majority of girls on our summer school courses but last year applications from boys dipped under 30% for the first time since we kept records. This is serious as we are concerned that boys from non-privileged homes are not getting the opportunities they need to go to a top university. Maybe they are too shy to apply.”
Last year applications from 3,329 students were received by the Trust according to the NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research) which monitored them. Of these 974 or 29% were from boys. This compares with nearly 30% in 2005 and 32% in 2004. Each year only about a third of students who attend the summer schools are boys.
The Trust pays for about 650 students from across the country to spend a week in July at a choice of Bristol, Cambridge, Nottingham or Oxford universities. They will attend lectures, meet tutors and take part in the usual social activities with help from current students acting as mentors.
Priority for places will be given to those students aged 16 and 17 (in Year 12) from non-privileged backgrounds whose parents are in non-professional occupations and did not go to university. Those who come from schools which do not normally send many students onto Higher Education will also be given preference.
Anyone interested should call 0208 788 3223 for further details or apply on-line atwww.suttontrust.com.
The deadline for applications is Friday 2nd March 2007.