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Higher Education and Schools Partnerships

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This management policy briefing contains carefully selected presentations from experts in building and maintaining partnerships between Higher Education Institutions and schools.

Following the government's changes to tuition fees and the requirement for HEIs to draw up access agreements, outreach and widening participation activities have never been more important. But building successful partnerships goes beyond outreach: this pack also includes case studies from HEIs and schools who are leading the way with sustainable partnerships producing curriculum enrichment, staff development, and community cohesion.

It is a valuable resource for anyone in HEIs and schools looking to build, develop or improve a partnership programme.

This briefing explores the opportunities for strategic development and improvement of partnership working.

Users will:

  • Examine different models of partnership working, including case studies of successful programmes;
  • Hear about the benefits of collaboration between HEIs;
  • Explore how to make best use of the Aimhigher legacy;
  • Assess the value of "deep" partnerships, with HEIs and schools working in parallel for mutual benefit;
  • Look at what different schools want from partnerships, including specialist schools and academies;
  • View the Higher Education White Paper referred to in the video presentations and access links to the latest policy updates and case studies.
Programme
Widening participation in a changing landscape Professor Steve West | Vice-Chancellor, University of the West of England
Universities are still learning which interventions do and do not work for widening participation. This presentation highlights successful projects at the University of the West of England, and gives an overview of how widening participation benefits the economy, society and individuals. It also looks to the future and explores how partnerships can be sustained amidst funding challenges and a changing policy landscape.

Document coming soon
Keynote Address Lord Professor Robert Winston | Professor of Science and Society, Imperial College London
This presentation addresses how human beings learn, and how HEIs and schools can work together to improve the quality of teaching and learning for children and young people at all stages of their education. It uses the example of Imperial College's "Reach Out Laboratory", where school teachers and academics together give children a practical learning experience which helps develop their interest in science subjects.

Document coming soon
Making use of the Aimhigher legacy Andrew Rawson |Deputy Director, Action on Access
The Aimhigher programme has now come to an end, but it leaves behind it a valuable national legacy of resources, activities, national datasets and a self-supporting network which has emerged from it. This presentation outlines this legacy, and the benefits to HEIs of working with it.

Document coming soon
Pooling resources: how HEIs can work together on partnerships Kevin Mattinson |Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community and Partnerships), Keele University
This presentation examines why and how HEIs should work together, giving examples of local best practice, and looking at how this will continue after the end of Aimhigher. It contains a range of practical advice for collaboration between institutions, as well as putting this in an ideological context: partnership working furthers social justice, and cultural and attitudinal change.

Document coming soon
IAG in an age of austerity: supporting and delivering information, advice and guidance Liam Owens | Head of Student Recruitment, Edge Hill University and Chair, Higher Education Liaison Officers Association (HELOA)
With government cuts affecting Connexions services and the introduction of an all-age careers service, giving young people access to sufficient and impartial IAG has become more challenging. This presentation emphasises how crucial this is in supporting individuals and institutions, and sets out what a good applicant experience should look like.

Document coming soon
What's on now:
What do schools want? Results from a direct funding pilot Dr Graeme Atherton | Executive Director, Aimhigher London West, Central and North (WECAN) Partnership
This focuses on the results of a project which gave 75 schools direct funding to form partnerships with HEIs, detailing what schools expected, what support they required, and the sorts of partnerships that were finally formed. It highlights the importance of collaboration between HEIs in engaging with schools both locally and nationally, and the benefits to schools of initiating programmes of this nature.

Document coming soon
Successful partnerships with specialist schools and academies Stephen Grundy | National HE Programme Co-ordinator, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT)
This presentation explores the benefits to specialist schools and academies of working with HEIs on innovative partnerships. In a view of what a successful partnership can achieve, it presents case studies in which curriculum enrichment, development for teachers and academics, and skills and employability development for undergraduates go hand in hand with widening participation. The focus is on joint working rather than university-led outreach activities.

Document coming soon
Building a comprehensive partnership programme Steve Kendall |Associate Dean of Partnerships, University of Bedfordshire
"Systematic" partnership working, in which schools and universities provide mutual support for each other and for learners throughout their education, is held up as an ideal here. The presentation describes how universities can be embedded in their communities, becoming open, accessible, and placing learners at the centre of the partnerships they build. The University of Bedfordshire's experience is used to explore the possibilities of deep and systematic partnerships, and the challenges these still face.

Document coming soon
Working together to prepare applicants for the HE admissions process: interviews, tests, use of contextual data Annie Doyle | Senior Project Officer, Supporting Professionalism in Admissions (SPA)

Document coming soon
Inspiring pupils to progress into STEM subjects Jo Hutchinson | Deputy Head of Centre, International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS), University of Derby

Document coming soon
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