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Teachers take up special projects to encourage pupils to go to university

Posted on 22 May 2002

Teachers can now apply for special Fellowships to help them raise the aspirations of their pupils to study at a university.

Teachers eligible to apply to York are those teaching in ‘Excellence Challenge Areas' or ‘Education Action Zones'; in the Yorkshire region these include Hull, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Rotherham, Wakefield, Barnsley and Withernsea.

Under the scheme, teachers will spend a term at a university working on a special project. The University of York will host three teachers as part of a pilot scheme in 2002/3 and 2003/4. The Excellence Fellowship Awards are funded by the Department for Education and Science and have been stimulated by the Government's target to give 50 per cent of people aged between 18 and 30 the opportunity to benefit from Higher Education by 2010. In order to meet this target, students need to be actively encouraged to remain in education after the age of 16 and continue into Higher Education.

The aim of the Excellence Fellowship Awards is to provide teachers in schools and Further Education Colleges with the opportunity to spend time in a Higher Education Institution. This contact will enable them to look at ways in which to raise the aspirations of school pupils and Further Education students, and increase their understanding of the benefits of a university education.

The University of York will be hosting three teachers each year, either part or full-time, for the equivalent of a term each. During this time, the teachers will undertake projects that will deepen their knowledge of Higher Education. The information they collect will then be disseminated back into their own schools and potentially to a wider audience.

York is interested in developing some particular projects. These include those which examine the transition from school to higher education of those students with no family tradition of going to university. Such projects might consider how the University can help students to settle in well and study confidently, how to attract students from a diversity of cultural backgrounds, or e-mentoring (the online mentoring and tutoring of school students by university students).

The Director of Admissions and Schools Liaison at the University of York, Connie Cullen, who will be administering the scheme, said, "This will be a great opportunity for the University to work in partnership with schools, it will help develop teachers' professional knowledge and skills with a direct relevance to widening participation in higher education. It will also help the University to plan appropriate support for future students from very diverse backgrounds."

Notes to editors:

  • Thirty higher education institutions will be participating in the scheme.
  • The University of York also runs a number of summer schools for students interested in applying to study the Sciences or Social Sciences, and participates in the Green Apples early outreach scheme for younger pupils in York schools.

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153