Students Staff

08 January 2015

New network to help Essex young people into higher education

Students visiting the Big Bang Fair at the University of Essex

Students visiting the Big Bang Fair at the University of Essex

A new network is being launched to help more young people across Essex go into higher education thanks to funding from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills worth nearly £500,000 over the next two years.

The Essex Collaborative Outreach Network led by the University of Essex and Anglia Ruskin University is part of a £22 million national scheme announced today (Thursday 8 January).

The network - which will cover Essex, Southend and Thurrock - will be developing innovative and exciting ways to link-up with schools and colleges across the county to showcase how higher education can change people’s live by offering a transformational educational experience.

The county’s other key higher education providers Colchester Institute, South Essex College and Writtle College will all be part of the network which is also being supported by Essex County Council.

Registrar at the University of Essex, Bryn Morris, said: “We believe all students with the potential to succeed should be able to benefit from the transformational experience of higher education, no matter what their background. Providing the right support and advice at the right time is vital to this aim.

“Our network will supplement all the fantastic outreach work going on across the county and we also want to encourage new ways of working with local schools and colleges. We will be giving teachers and students quick and easy access to the best possible advice within the classroom, through our website and at the many outreach events organised by our network.”

Head of Outreach and Recruitment at Anglia Ruskin University, Rachel Nedwell, said: “The network will provide a single point of contact so teachers and advisers can easily find out about activities in their area aimed at showcasing the inspirational opportunities offered by higher education.

“They will also be supported to provide the best possible advice to anyone thinking about going on to higher-level study. A new website will be created featuring outreach activities available which will also signpost other information to support schools and colleges as they prepare their students for higher education.”

Essex County Councillor Ray Gooding, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “It is extremely important that we, as a county, continue to work to ensure that as many people as possible are given the opportunity to achieve in higher education. The work of the Essex Collaborative Outreach Network is a great example of this. We are incredibly proud of the students of Essex, and the people who come here from around the country to learn.”

The National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO) is being overseen by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) which is particularly keen to see networks find new ways of connecting with young people.

There will be a total of 35 local networks across the country plus three more national level networks created to offer advice and support to specific groups of students, including older learners wishing to return to study and care leavers.

Find full details about the Essex network via the HEFCE website.

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