University graduates

City of Wolverhampton College is to work in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton and other local colleges to help increase the number of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds progressing into higher education.

 The university has secured £8 million funding as part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP)  – a national scheme delivered by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) which will see a total of £60 million awarded to consortia which were invited to submit proposals for funds to work collaboratively on outreach programmes in specific local areas.

The programme aims to support the Government’s goals to double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education (HE) by 2020, increase by 20 percent the number of students in HE from ethnic minority groups and address the under-representation of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE.

The University will collaborate with Black Country Further Education colleges, City of Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell and Halesowen as well as Telford College of Art & Technology (TCAT) and New College Telford. The name of the consortium is ‘Aspire to HE.’

Claire Boliver, principal of City of Wolverhampton College, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Aspire to HE project and to help more people across the city gain the qualifications they need to move into fulfilling and rewarding careers.

“Our focus will be in engaging potential students, raising aspirations and ensuring that all young people, regardless of their backgrounds, are able to benefit from the life changing opportunities that higher education can bring.”

HEFCE Director of Policy, Chris Millward said: “NCOP represents a significant investment by HEFCE in improving the life chances of young people in some of our most disadvantaged communities. Our evidence has shown that there are young people in these areas who are achieving the qualifications they need to benefit from higher education, but are not currently doing so. The programme will ensure that they are better equipped to make the right choice for them by exposing the range of higher education options available and the careers they make possible.”

Aspire to HE will also be working with the Marches and Black Country Local Enterprise Partnerships which will be sitting on the strategic governance board.

Funding will be provided for two years in the first instance, from January 2017 to December 2018. Funding for a further two years, to December 2020 will be subject to consortia making satisfactory progress towards meeting the Government’s goals.

Wards covered by the funding are Bloxwich West, Arleston, Brookside, Cuckoo Oak, Donnington, Hadley and Leegomery, Ketley and Oakengates, Malinslee, The Nedge, Woodside, Wrockwardine Wood and Trench, Bilston East, Birchills Leamore, Blakenhall, Bloxwich East, Brierley Hill, Brockmoor and Pensnett, Castle and Priory, Coseley East, East Park, Friar Park, Great Bridge, Hateley Heath, Low Hill, Lye and Wollescote, Netherton and Woodside, Princes End, St Andrews and St Thomas’.



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