The University of the West of England have announced plans to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds to make University. There is also a focus on BAME students. The University will hope to make a positive difference to thousands of students thanks to this effort. There has been concern in the media regarding how University is something that could be out of reach for disadvantaged students. This problem appears to be being addressed here.
UWE runs the ‘Future Quest Programme’, which has already helped several students from disadvantaged backgrounds to make it to University. The aim of the programme is to help students from a diverse range of backgrounds e.g. disadvantaged, BAME & deprived to make it to University. Current figures show that there is a strong difference between student numbers at University related to the background of a student. While there are bursaries, scholarships and grants that also help, this is an additional measure.
The programme will help secondary school students from Year 9 to Year 13. The programme includes guidance, mentoring, trips to Universities, and workshops too. There will be 500 opportunities this year, with the main focus being placed on those in the most deprived areas of South Gloucestershire and Bristol. This puts the focus firmly on the local area, and is an example of UWE’s commitments to the local area and economy – there are likely to be several long-term benefits to this programme.
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Looking at the wider picture – the UK Government are trying to increase the number of ethnic minority students at University by 20% in the forthcoming years. This programme certainly will contribute to this aim being achieved.