About Explore University

Explore University is a collaborative partnership of four Higher Education Institutions

Widening participation in higher education and raising the aspirations and attainment of younger learners

HAWKS the owl

The universities are working together on a scheme of higher education awareness and aspiration raising focusing on younger learners identified through working in partnership with eight identified primary schools in the first instance. These four universities have agreed to work together in order to operate a North West Midlands scheme of higher education awareness and aspiration raising focusing on younger learners, specifically learners in years 5 and 6.

Key features of this partnership include:

  • Collaborative funding and allocation of resources, allowing for economies of scale
  • Robust targeting and evaluation, which will include longitudinal results
  • Delivery of impartial IAG, activities and events, sharing good practice and evaluation
  • Sharing responsibility and working towards agreed aims and objectives
North West Midlands

Aims and objectives of the partnership:

Explore University is based on the provision of outreach activities by all four universities in the collaborative partnership to students in years 5 and 6 in targeted schools, identified as widening participation (through the percentage of students' accessing free school meals, the index of multiple deprivation and their POLAR 4 data) in order to achieve the following:

  • Supporting attainment; working in partnership with primary schools
  • Helping to build staff and institutional development, encouraging cross-sector understanding of the need to encourage progression to Higher Education
  • Increased aspirations and widening participation amongst the young learners
  • Targeting of key influencers such as teachers, parents, carers and guardians

In summary explore university will:

  • Create a publicly identifiable awareness and aspiration raising initiative across the North West Midlands
  • Provide a range of general information and activities to heighten young learners' awareness of and interest in higher education, such as guided campus visits, non-residential residential activities, talks and presentations, subject workshops and tasters. A programme covering Y5 and Y6 will be produced in conjunction with participating schools
  • Increase awareness of young people to recognise where their learning journey can take them
  • Encourage motivation of learners in the early stages of their learning
  • Support young learners and help prepare them for progression to higher education
  • Improve advice and guidance on choosing higher level subjects, financial information, careers opportunities
  • Break down a range of barriers to participation in HE including stereotypes and social/cultural misconceptions
  • Work with schools to target individuals in particular who may be put off HE because of their circumstances