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National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP)

Monday 09 January 2017

The collaborative partnership Study Higher has been successful in its bid to secure funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to help increase the number of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Higher Education (HE).

The partnership, which is led by Oxford Brookes University and made up of universities and further education colleges across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Swindon, has been awarded £3.4 million over two years, as part of HEFCE’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme.

The partnership will use the funding to work collaboratively on a wide-range of outreach activities with targeted schools and colleges across the region to highlight opportunities within HE. This includes a project to encourage white working class boys to progress to HE, increased provision of information and advice for students progressing from vocational qualifications, and a continued focus on supporting students with caring responsibilities.

HEFCE’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme aims to support the Government’s goals to double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE by 2020, increase by 20 per cent the number of students in HE from ethnic minority groups and address the under-representation of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “We are seeing record numbers of disadvantaged young people going to university and benefitting from the real opportunities that our world-class universities can offer.

“This funding and the schemes that have been developed by universities will make a real difference to young people in key areas. In addition to this, we are legislating for a new transparency duty which will place a clear requirement on institutions to go further and faster to promote social mobility.”

Study Higher is a partnership between Oxford Brookes University, University of Oxford, Bucks New University, University of Reading and six local Further Education colleges.