What is Study Higher?

Who do we work with?

There are two distinct strands to the work that Study Higher delivers across the four regions of Swindon, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. These two strands are targeted outreach and the outreach hub.

Targeted outreach

Our targeted outreach is for young people in school years 9 -13, who live in specific geographical areas across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Swindon. These wards have been identified by our funders, the Office for Students, and we focus on areas where there is typically lower progression to higher education.

Schools with a high percentage of target pupils are eligible for our extensive programme of activity, which includes support from one of our Higher Education Liaison Officers (HELOs). HELOs ensure that schools are aware of outreach opportunities available and that activity is tailored to meet the needs of both the school and pupils.

We currently work intensively with 34 schools in these regions. To find out if you, your school and/or your child is eligible or for more information about our targeted outreach click here.

The outreach hub

The Outreach Hub support is also available to schools and colleges in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Swindon regions. The outreach hub has two main strands: signposting and strategic engagement.


The hub is a point of contact for all schools in the four regions. Teachers and advisors can contact the hub team to find out about the free outreach activity available to them. Our website also hosts details of all the local outreach and how to book, as well as resources and information for schools and colleges about HE.

Strategic engagement:

The hub works closely with HEIs, FE colleges, LEPs, careers hubs and other education providers to develop strategic collaborative activity and encourage effective and impactful collaboration. This work is especially focused on underrepresented groups such as care experienced students, young carers and service children.


Adult learners

In phase three of the programme the Office for Students requested Uni Connect partnerships to expand their delivery of targeted outreach with adult learners where appropriate. For 2021-22 the focus is on adult learners, aged 19 or above, who live in existing Uni Connect target wards and who are studying in a further education college.

Outreach and engagment should aim to support adult learners in making informed choices about their options in relation to the full range of routes into and through higher education and seek to minimise the barriers they may face when choosing the option that is right for them. Adult learners in higher education are more likely than younger students to be from underrepresented groups and can face different barriers to accessing and succeeding in their studies. We recognise that adult learners are not all the same and may face specific barriers which are different to those of younger learners.

Visit the Adult learner page to see the support available.

How do we work with young people?

We work closely with higher education providers, schools, colleges, community groups, local councils and other stakeholders to deliver inspirational and informative activities and events.

The targeted outreach staff are based in schools to deliver support on the ground. Visit our ‘resources‘ page to find resources you can share with your students and to see what’s available in your area, and make bookings, visit our ‘events’ page. To find out if your school is eligible for some of the specific projects that Study Higher and our partners deliver, simply type your school name into the box on the teachers page.


Is Study Higher free?

Yes, the activities and events are free for students and teachers.  We are funded by the Office for Students’ Uni Connect programme which aims to promote social mobility by encouraging access to higher education for young people from diverse backgrounds.  Funding is distributed across our partner higher education providers to offer support through projects.


Getting involved

Your school might already be involved in our targeted outreach/outreach hub programme and will have a member of our staff linked to your school.

Visit the ‘teacher’ page to find out if you can access support.


Our History

Study Higher was established in 2011 by Buckinghamshire New University, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford with the aim of preserving the legacy of Aimhigher MKOB. The University of Reading joined the partnership in 2014 along with six further education colleges.

In January 2017 Study Higher was successful in its bid for funding to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), now known as the Office for Students (OfS), as part of their National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), now known as Uni Connect, and as a result expanded again and is now made up of 14 institutions.

Visit the ‘Our Partners’ page to find out more.

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