Hosted by Lord Watson of Invergowrie at the House of Lords, NEON launched its new initiative on ‘Improving Access to Higher Education for white students from lower socio-economic backgrounds’ on Monday 17th June.
45 guests attended the launch, including Gordon Marsden MP, Shadow Minister for Higher Education, FE and Skills, Charlotte Steggall (neaco) and Alice Davies (Swansea University).
This new ground-breaking initiative that brings together 10 higher education (HE) providers from across the country to better support the group least likely to attend HE. Over the course of the next year NEON will co-ordinate a unique collaboration between projects led by the participating HE providers to better in what works in widening access to HE for this target group.
This initiative builds on the findings of the recent report: Working Class Heroes: Understanding access to higher education for white students from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The report showed that over 50% of higher education institutions were admitting less than 5% of students from low participation neighbourhoods. It attracted significant attention from national policymakers and featured on the BBC Politics Show, Guardian, Independent, Daily Mail and the Times Higher.
NEON now wants to build on the important conclusions of the report and work with partners to make a real difference in addressing inequalities in access to HE for this group of learners via a national collaborative project that brings together work from across the sector in this area.
“There is a long-standing issue with how access to HE measures are used by policymakers,” said Dr Graeme Atherton, Director of the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON),
The aim of the NEON Improving Access Project is to bring a range of different projects together and enhance their impact as distinct pieces of work, whilst also making a tangible impact on the national agenda in this area.
To become involved in NEON’s new initiative and more information please contact Martin Webster at firstname.lastname@example.org.