Widening Participation Programmes
Widening Participation¬†to higher education is a strategic priority for the UK ¬†government and the higher education sector in general.¬†Widening Participation Programmes¬†aim to address the discrepancies in the take-up of higher education opportunities between different social groups. At Connell Sixth Form College we are committed to the following Widening Participation Programmes:
Manchester Access Programme (MAP)
MAP is a structured scheme for local post-16 students who meet specific academic and background criteria. The aim of the programme is to support entry to Manchester, or to another research-intensive university, through the completion of a portfolio of work demonstrating specific knowledge and skills.
The scheme gives students the opportunity to show their potential through a varied programme of activities, including:
- a series of personal development/skills workshops;
- a two-day University Life Conference;
- one-to-one UCAS application guidance interviews with University staff.
Students also complete an academic assignment under the guidance of an academic tutor at the University, which helps to develop the skills required for university study and provides an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the potential for success in HE.
All students who successfully complete the Manchester Access Programme also benefit from:
- individual support through the UCAS application process;
- up to two A-level or equivalent grade reduction towards their University of Manchester offer;
- an Undergraduate Access Scholarship depending on their household income if they progress on to study at The University of Manchester.
We target students using criteria related to academic potential and measures of under-representation in higher education.
Prospective Pembroke North students undergo a rigorous interview process at Oxford University. From the outset, students are expected to take their study seriously: turning up promptly, completing the expected reading, and participating in lectures and seminars. The scheme runs in parallel with short, intensive Oxford terms.
In Hilary (Spring) term, the group participates in a university-style academic course called Enlightenment and Romanticism: Making of the Modern World. Seminars touch upon politics, literature, natural science, philosophy, and history and are designed to both provide students with a range of university subjects and to enrich awareness of the development of modernity.
Following the successful completion of the academic course, the Pembroke North groups attend the Study Skills School sponsored by the Henry Drucker Fund. This is held in London over two days during the Easter break. The school is led by Oxford and Cambridge undergraduates who design and deliver seminars and tutorials focusing on the practical skills needed to study at a research-intensive university. Talks and lectures are delivered by Pembroke Fellows and tutors invited from other universities. At the end of the school, prizes for outstanding work are presented by a Pembroke alumnus.
The year culminates with the residential summer school at Pembroke College which replicates a week in the life of an Oxford undergraduate. Pembroke undergraduates mentor the Pembroke North students, giving them an insight into the opportunities and challenges of independent, undergraduate life while postgraduates set essay questions and conduct tutorials. Pembroke North students have to organise their substantial workload around lectures, theatre trips, and tours of Oxford.
At the close of the week, one Scholar and a number of Exhibitioners are nominated. Merit is recognised for essays, an examination and the strength of their overall participation in the programme throughout the year. Scholars and Exhibitioners, funded by a levy from Pembroke undergraduates, attend a 5-day residential curriculum enrichment course of their choice at Villiers Park Educational Trust, near Cambridge.