University welcomes national drive for social mobility

Chemistry for All

Liverpool John Moores University has reaffirmed its commitment to enhancing social mobility, as Universities UK (UUK) publishes a report by the Social Mobility Taskforce, which makes national recommendations for boosting access to higher education.

LJMU delivers a range of outreach programmes targeted at local communities to support access to higher education, including the £1m Chemistry for All project, which this week enters its third successful year.

A new report released by the Social Mobility Advisory Group, chaired by Universities UK, has made a series of recommendations to improve social mobility in higher education in England. The report recommends universities should work even more closely with schools and colleges and has found that location is increasingly important to the success of participation in higher education, as well as social and economic background.

LJMU Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Peter Byers commented: “The city of Liverpool has some of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities and LJMU has played a central role in ensuring as many talented young people from across the region get the opportunity to benefit from studying at university, regardless of their background.

“We welcome this report’s emphasis on collaboration. As a modern civic university, we view our partnerships with schools, community groups and government as fundamental to the success of inspiring and supporting young people into and through higher education. We have proven success with this approach, with almost 97%* of our UK students from state school backgrounds – almost 8% above the national average.”

Chemistry for All, a Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) project, is aimed at increasing the numbers of school pupils from widening participation backgrounds involved in Chemistry and raising their  awareness of related career options. 

LJMU is one of only four universities from across the UK to be selected by the RSC to be part of the £1 million project, which will see the Institute of Education undertaking a social science survey to evaluate the impact of the project on pupils from low participation HE backgrounds.

LJMU is working with six local schools: All Saints Catholic High School, Kirkby; Bebington High Sports College, Wirral; Broadgreen International School, Liverpool; Cowley International College, St Helens; West Derby School, Liverpool and Woodchurch High School, Wirral. School pupils across Years 8 to 12 receive a comprehensive and sustained range of outreach Chemistry activities, including careers events and advice, and hands-on practical experiments, as well as visits to the University.

Dr Ian Bradshaw, Project Leader of Chemistry for All at LJMU, said: “Our aim with the project is to break down barriers  which might prevent pupils from considering careers related to Chemistry and Science, and to make them appreciate that higher education is achievable, show them the paths to get there, and help them feel familiar with working in and with a university. We are only in year three of the five-year project but early indications are that the pupils are enjoying their experience, learning new skills and becoming more open to attending higher education and pursuing careers in science.”

Chemistry for All at LJMU is a cross-Faculty project, with staff from the School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, the School of Education, and Student Recruitment and Admissions team all responsible for its successful delivery.

LJMU has produced a Chemistry for All film featuring pupils and teachers benefitting from the programme, and staff responsible for its success.

Further background – UUK Report

Further background – social mobility in Liverpool City Region:

Liverpool John Moores University is committed to widening access and delivers a range of outreach programmes targeted at local communities to support access to Higher Education. 44% of the University’s UK student population is recruited from the Liverpool City Region, and 83% of these students are studying at undergraduate level. 

LJMU’s full access agreement for 2016/17


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