University of Leicester reaches out to young people in London schools

Posted by er134 at Sep 07, 2015 10:51 AM |
Applications to the University from candidates in Greater London rose by more than 25 per cent between 2012 and 2014

Issued by the University of Leicester Press Office on 7 September 2015

The University of Leicester is targeting potential students living in London by forging new links with schools and colleges across the capital.

The move has been prompted by an increased level of interest in Leicester from Londoners. Applications to the University from candidates in Greater London rose by more than 25 per cent between 2012 and 2014, with a 12 per cent surge in the intake from the capital during the same period.

Since September, staff from Leicester have targeted nearly 30 schools and colleges in London, offering taster lectures, training for teachers on UCAS applications, and group visits to the Leicester campus.

Seven schools have signed a formal “partnership agreement”, guaranteeing a certain level of contact with the University. One deserving sixth former will be chosen by each school to be awarded a University of Leicester scholarship, worth £1,000 per year at University.

Leicester holds many attractions for London students, including its close proximity and cultural similarities between the two cities. The University of Leicester has also been identified as the most affordable student destination in national surveys for the past two years (see link at end of this release).

“Students who come to Leicester have all the benefits of leaving London, including the lower cost of living, but are not going very far,” said Jonathan Tinnacher, the London to Leicester Co-ordinator. “There is also the cultural accessibility. Leicester, like London, is very multicultural.”

Sixth formers in the capital are becoming better prepared for degree level study. London’s 731 secondary schools and colleges are improving at a faster rate than in other parts of the UK and London has some of the highest participation in higher education rates in the country.

Leicester has targeted a wide range of secondaries, including inner city schools, new academies and high performing sixth form colleges.

Seven London schools have signed up to a partnership agreement, a new mechanism for building and sustaining links with secondaries outside of the local area.

Sir George Monoux College, in Walthamstow, east London, is one of the schools Leicester is working with.

Dimitris Angeletos, the college's director of UCAS, said: "We have been working with Leicester for the last year now and we have formed a very close collaboration.”

The college is actively trying to encourage pupils to apply outside the capital and the partnership with Leicester has been at the heart of this plan.

"Many of our intake are inner-city students from socially deprived backgrounds. They feel they should stay at home because it will be cheaper, regardless of the university. Part of this process is to broaden their horizons and aspirations. Leicester is a good, research intensive university so we want them to apply and be successful," he said.

The University offers £500 towards a group visit to an open day, while the school commits to having a certain number of interventions, such as a UCAS talk, a finance talk, a taster lecture and a group visit. Taster lectures have included everything from ‘Rainforests, orang-utans, breakfast cereals and climate’ to ‘Law: Is a Jaffa Cake a cake or a biscuit?’

“The standard practice is for universities to visit schools outside their own area once, or at most twice a year,” said Jonathan Tinnacher. “This new approach takes school/university links much further.”

If the pilot proves successful, the approach may be rolled out to other cities in the UK.

•       University of Leicester identified as most affordable student destination for second year running

Ends

NOTE TO NEWSDESK:

For interviews please contact:

Elliot Newstead
Senior Student Recruitment Officer

E: en69@le.ac.uk

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