Supporting Higher Education in London

Promoting access to higher education in London during AccessHE week 2016

AccessHE has long been working with our members and partner organisations to promote access to higher education in London.

In order to ramp up our efforts at the end of the 2015/16 academic year, we decided to dedicate an entire week of our calendars to what we named AccessHE Week.

Throughout the week we ran a number of events workshops for AccessHE member higher education institutions (HEIs), partner schools and colleges and other organisations who have an interest in working with us to promote higher education as a tool for social mobility. These included two access to HE expos for Year 12 and Year 9 students respectively, at which over 100 learners took part in information, advice and guidance workshops on university and student life all run by colleagues from our member HEIs. Workshop topics included the range of subjects available to study, money management and studying outside of London.

The highlight of the week, however, was the AccessHE Conference held on 7 July. The conference, entitled Putting Students at the Heart of Social Mobility, brought together cross-sector delegates to hear the views of current HE students from widening participation backgrounds on the issues around accessing and succeeding in HE. The showpiece act of the conference was the presentation of the Helping Students to Succeed manifesto, which was devised and developed by the AccessHE Student Advisory Group. Following this, members of the group engaged in a lively discussion with Sarah Howls from HEFCE and Professor Julius Weinberg of Kingston University London on access, student success, employment and the future of widening participation.

AccessHE Week proved to be a big success, with many colleagues from our partner organisations attending events, meetings and workshops. This was the second time we have run AccessHE Week and we are always looking at ways to promote this important agenda, so it may not be the last.