January 8, 2013, by Malvika Johal
David Willetts’ interview in The Independent last week discussing the idea of positive discrimination from University admissions towards white working class males has re-ignited the debate around the diversity of students attending UK Universities.
As the debate continues it is recognised by most that University admissions alone cannot make the changes needed to increase the number of applications and entrants from underrepresented groups. Our education system has a significant part to play in highlighting the importance of higher education, but also laying the foundations to make entry into higher education possible.
Just a quick glance at our current cohort of students as well as our alumni community shows how diverse the University of Nottingham is, not only due to our international campuses, and our wide range of courses, but also thanks to the £8 million dedicated to widening participation within the region. Various activities take place throughout the year to raise awareness of the University and the courses we run across our local community.
As part of Widening Participation, Nottingham Potential is a campaign project which aims to promote and support, within less advantaged communities locally, educational aspirations and attainment at primary, secondary and post-16 levels and progression to higher education, including The University of Nottingham. Projects including week long summer school placements aimed at showing talented students what University life can be like and proving the information needed to make the correct choices at A-level to ensure they have a chance of attending a higher education institution.
The Nottingham University Samworth Academy opened in 2009. It replaced an underachieving school in a deprived area of Nottingham. Through fostering important links with the University the pupils of NUSA have a unique opportunity to experience what the University can offer. Click to see a video of visiting NUSA students.
Our campus is a public campus and we encourage the local residents to make use of the 300 acres site, our annual community open day – Mayfest continues to attract thousands of visitors to tour the buildings participate in activities and enjoy a day on University Park.
These give you a flavour of the work carried out across the University to ensure that it is seen as an institution which is accessible to all high achievers irrespective of their background.