New network to help more Essex students into higher education

Network hopes to link up more closely with schools to get more students into higher education.

Network hopes to link up more closely with schools to get more students into higher education. - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

A new network to help more young people across Essex go into higher education has been launched with government funding worth nearly £500,000 over the next two years.

The Essex Collaborative Outreach Network is being jointly led by the University of Essex and Anglia Ruskin University.

It is part of a national scheme funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The network aims to develop innovative and exciting ways to work more closely with schools and colleges across the county to showcase how higher education can change people’s lives by offering a transformational educational experience.

Other key partners include the Colchester Institute, Writtle College, and Essex County Council.

Bryn Morris, registrar at the University of Essex, 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.

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“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 web site and at the many outreach events organised by our network.”

Rachel Nedwell, head of outreach and recruitment at Anglia Ruskin University, added: “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 web site 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.”

Ray Gooding, Essex county councillor for education and lifelong learning, said: “It is extremely important that we continue to work to ensure as many people as possible are given the opportunity to achieve in higher education.”

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.