At Writtle University College our mission is:
'Transforming lives and the environment through inspiring education.'
The Widening Participation and Outreach team aim to achieve this by supporting promising young minds from currently underrepresented backgrounds. We seek to raise the aspiration and attainment levels of these students in order to make futures in the fields of animal, land and sport more appealing and accessible.
In order to show our commitment to this aim, we have set the following highly ambitious targets in our Access and Participation Plan:
Representative access by 2035
Equal continuation by 2035
Equal attainment by 2030
Equal progression by 2035
Access and Participation
Our approach to access and participation work focuses on engaging with White working-class males, BAME, disabled and/or care experienced students of all age groups alongside mature learners.
The Access and Participation Plan has been developed with input from a wide range of staff across the institution and in close collaboration with the Students' Union. It is based on the latest developments in pedagogic research and provides an evidence-based critical and close evaluation of our own outreach and access initiatives while simultaneously providing clear and ambitious targets for the future.
The barriers that these groups face getting into higher education are not exclusive to Writtle University College. For example, a report from the National Education Opportunity Network (NEON) found that more than half of the universities in England have fewer than 5% of White working-class students in their intakes.
In recognition of this, we strive to work collaboratively with other institutions and organisations in order to deliver some of our outreach work. Our team has partnerships and memberships regionally and nationally with groups such as Make Happen, HELOA and NEON, which connect Higher Education Institutions and impartial charity bodies. Our Access and Participation Plan further outlines more expansive and sustained partnerships with schools, colleges, clubs and organisations in order to ensure a more united approach in raising the aspiration and attainment levels for disadvantaged young people.
We will seek to build sustained partnerships with a small number of schools and colleges situated in low participation neighbourhoods. These schools may also have high proportions of
White working class and BAME pupils relative to the local area.
We will use our expertise and facilities in sports studies to engage with a larger white, working-class male
audience, building local partnerships with sports clubs and organisations to support this engagement.