The University of York is one of 12 university partners in Realising Opportunities. The project supports students in their post-16 studies with skills development and guidance. The programme begins in Year 12 and offers many opportunities to experience university first hand, as well as allowing students to realise their potential to study at a research intensive university. Realising Opportunities won the Widening Participation Initiative of the Year at the 2011 Times Higher Education Awards.
The Realising Opportunities programme involves an extensive menu of events and activities across the partnership including:
Staff from all 12 universities launch the programme at the National Conference and deliver a range of targeted workshops. Students also meet their dedicated e-mentor, who guides them through the comprehensive online support during Years 12 and 13.
Realising Opportunities E-mentors are current undergraduate students who offer their allocated students individual, tailored support through a programme of topics and activities. This is designed to enhance students’ work in school/college, provide key information about higher education and help them through the UCAS process. E-mentors are able to give first-hand accounts of university life, especially useful when covering student finance and preparation for going to university. E-mentoring is done through a secure online site.
The EPQ is a qualification that students complete in school or college. If a student’s school does not offer the EPQ then they can instead take the Realising Opportunities Academic Assignment. The Academic Assignment is a piece of independent research work. Students are allocated an academic tutor from their host university who will then support them through their work on the assignment. This provides a real experience of higher education, an opportunity to develop academic related skills and a greater awareness of what a research intensive university can offer.
Realising Opportunities students may find these resources for the Academic Assignment useful.
The skills4uni online study skills module gives students vital preparation and support for their EPQ or Academic Assignment.This module enables students to acquire a range of skills aimed at supporting their study and transition from school/college to university.
The Realising Opportunities programme is unique in that students are able to access information and support from all the partners institutions through a menu of events and activities, such as on-campus masterclasses and summer schools, which provides the students with greater access to a range of universities across the country.