University College Birmingham recognised for increasing social mobility
By Melanie HallShare post:
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University College Birmingham has been ranked in the top 25 of higher education institutions in England committed to increasing social mobility.
The University was placed 23rd out of 40 institutions recognised for making the biggest impact to social mobility – a challenge involving factors across generations and life stages – in the Designing an English Social Mobility Index report from the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI).
There are 106 universities and five university colleges in England, putting University College Birmingham in the top 20 percent considered to be making the best contribution in terms of access to higher education and continuation.
Alice Wilby, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Access, Participation and Student Experience at University College Birmingham, said: “I’m really pleased that our efforts in supporting our students to fulfil their ambitions have been recognised in this index.
“Taking students from a wide variety of starting points and enabling them to succeed in subjects and careers they are passionate about is at the core of University College Birmingham’s mission. We’re proud of the transformative impact that studying with us can have on students’ lives.”
University College Birmingham is a longstanding advocate of access and widening participation, with 97.9% of its young, full-time undergraduates coming from state schools, 13.8% from areas designated as low participation neighbourhoods.
Crucially, as both a further education and higher education provider, college level students have access to routes into a range of degree courses, most of which are accredited by the University of Birmingham and are big on linking academic theory to modern workplace skills through powerful placements.
"Taking students from a wide variety of starting points and enabling them to succeed... is at the core of University College Birmingham’s mission"
There is extensive help and support available to help students make the transition to university level too, from ‘Move up to Uni’ advice and taster sessions to admissions and financial support, giving students the best chance of going further in their education journey and onto exciting careers.
As part of this, the University runs a successful National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), which aims to encourage more young people into higher education, bringing universities together to provide coordinated outreach to schools and colleges.
The results of the new Designing an English Social Mobility Index report recognises that the current focus on judging universities by the salaries of their graduates fails to take into account individuals’ personal circumstances and how far they have travelled.
It recommends that the index should be promoted by universities as an antidote to the detrimental pressure of other league tables.
University College Birmingham itself has declined to take part in league tables, stating that, as a successful higher education and further education institution, its performance is often unfairly represented by the traditional 'one-size-fits-all' approach and does a disservice to student achievements.
The report also calls for the Government to consider the outputs of this when setting policy, including consideration of investing in those institutions which demonstrate high returns in their approach to social mobility.
Find out more about what makes us a unique university dedicated to raising aspirations.
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