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The Corporation

Posted: 02/08/17

University access project seeks volunteers

From September, West Nottinghamshire College will be working with schools and colleges in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire on a project designed to encourage more students to apply to university.

West Nottinghamshire College will be joining the Access Project's mission to bring university study to more young people

The Access Project, which has been successfully running in London and the West Midlands, is now preparing to launch in the East Midlands and needs volunteer graduates to help support with tutoring.

The project is a charity, which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to gain places at selective universities, helping motivated students achieve great GCSE and A Level grades and support their progression to university.

The programme will be delivered by a university access officer based at West Nottinghamshire College’s Derby Road campus in Mansfield, and will address the barriers to enrolling at selective universities. First of all, securing strong academic qualifications and secondly understanding the pathway to university.

Using academic tuition delivered by volunteer graduates to improve attainment, a structured programme of university readiness and tutoring and outreach activities will be delivered to improve students’ understanding of the pathway to university. 

For many schools and colleges, partnership with The Access Project helps send students to Oxbridge for the very first time. And for many students, they can be the first to attend university in their family.

Students enrolled onto the programme will be tutored online by a committed volunteer who shares our vision. Tutors will work with a student for one hour per week, providing academic support and guidance in a particular subject area to enable the student to develop their knowledge and skills, ultimately raising their attainment.

Katie Harrison, volunteer co-ordinator with The Access Project, said: “Being able to provide this opportunity to students in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire is a very exciting prospect.

“The impact of tutoring on these young people’s lives relies on the work of new volunteers who we would like to recruit to the programme. Volunteers are at the heart of our charity and it would be impossible to be successful without them.

“I really enjoy being based at West Nottinghamshire College, where there is a friendly atmosphere and real community feel, combined with unique resources such as the university building which inspires young people to consider their future prospects and I’m very much looking forward to meeting the students who will be enrolled on the programme in September.”

To enquire about becoming a project volunteer, interested parties should contact volunteer co-ordinator Katie Harrison on katie@theaccessproject.org.uk or call 07908 135740.