Students Staff

01 October 2011

Essex in the running for two Times Higher Education Awards

The University of Essex features on two of the shortlists in this year’s Times Higher Education Awards.

The Mature Student Experience Project is a finalist in the Outstanding Support for Students category.

The team of Rachel Fletcher from Student Support, Richard Yates and Dr Maxwell Stevenson, from Learning and Development, Ashley Rudge from the Students’ Union, Rachel Earle and John Orchard from Outreach and Widening Participation and Katie Rakow Project Officer, has transformed the University’s approach to supporting mature students.

Launched in summer 2010 the project looks to maximise the mature student experience by fostering a creative, holistic and integrated approach to enhancing support. Actions so far include a new web page, providing targeted information, a residential pre-enrolment housewarming event and a special Freshers’ Week reception.

After just one year, the dropout rate has dropped and early responses from students have shown that they have enjoyed a richer university experience as a result of this work.

The University is also one of twelve partners in the Realising Opportunities Partnership in the shortlist for Widening Participation Initiative of the Year. Led by the University of Newcastle, this brings together 12 research intensive universities working to promote fair access and social mobility of students from under-represented groups.

The winners in each category will be announced on Thursday 24 November.

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