Being PURSUE: Our Launch Event

I’ve worked in higher education for almost four years now, moving into this sector from a job in what now feels like the ‘real world’, where I was often engaging with people who were taking part in our research projects – ranging from parents being asked about their views on funding for their parent’s groupContinue reading “Being PURSUE: Our Launch Event”

Working to the Same Goals

A case study of Southampton Hub’s work at Student Hubs Sophie Ford and Fiona Walsh, Student Hubs As a charity working within the higher education sector, Student Hubs has a unique point of view on working with communities, students, and higher education colleagues to enact change. We work in partnership with five UK universities, reachingContinue reading “Working to the Same Goals”

Designing PURSUE – Our Launch Event

Sometimes I wish my note taking was a little more comprehensive and detailed. But then again 2020 came at us quickly, and 2021, so far, is doing the same. But right at the end of 2020 we had our first event – the launch of PURSUE as a network – and now, a total ofContinue reading “Designing PURSUE – Our Launch Event”

We must speak frankly, Mr Shankly

As an impassioned Liverpudlian (by this I mean ‘Kopite’/follower of Liverpool FC, rather than simply a native of my home city), it will perhaps not surprise many to hear that Bill Shankly is one of my absolute heroes.  However, the esteem that I hold ‘Shanks’ in goes far beyond his status as the man whoContinue reading “We must speak frankly, Mr Shankly”

Let them eat data: Education, widening participation and the digital divide

The Quest for Answers As an education sector we like answers, answers for everything, right or wrong. Sometimes we’re more concerned with arriving at an answer, than we are with ensuring it tackles the issue addressed by the question. Widening HE participation is led by policy that dictates which answers we provide to what questionsContinue reading “Let them eat data: Education, widening participation and the digital divide”

What’s wrong with the ‘disadvantaged’?

Exactly that – there’s nothing wrong with them. However there is a lot wrong with the term ‘disadvantaged’ and it should not be used by widening participation practitioners, and we should challenge other professionals who use this term- whether that be policy makers, politicians or educationalists. I have four main issues with the term ‘disadvantaged’:Continue reading “What’s wrong with the ‘disadvantaged’?”

Reaching Beyond the School Gate: Making University Outreach More Meaningful

I began working in university outreach back in 2012. Since then, universities have – quite rightly – been under increasing pressure to demonstrate the impact of their widening participation activities. Across the sector, the most common model of student engagement focuses on schools. We look at educational institutions that have a large proportion of studentsContinue reading “Reaching Beyond the School Gate: Making University Outreach More Meaningful”

Don’t Talk to me About Aspirations; The language of disadvantage.

This blog is based around a 2-year research project working with young men engaged with statutory or community provision during 2018 and 19 who accessed youth provision via the ‘Children and Young Peoples Partnership’ at Lancaster University.  “Don’t talk to me about aspirations, who says what I should or shouldn’t be lad, mi dad’s aContinue reading “Don’t Talk to me About Aspirations; The language of disadvantage.”

It’s a Job, It’s a Calling

I don’t think I’ve ever felt less comfortable in who I am than when I arrived at University on my first day. My parents drove me down, my ears still ringing with my Grandad’s pride and praise, pack of fags and a bottle hidden in my rucksack and cramming the last bits of the pre-courseContinue reading “It’s a Job, It’s a Calling”

Class Consciousness, Trade Unionism and WP

I have always had a very strong sense of ‘class consciousnesses’.  I probably never described it in these terms as a kid growing up on the outskirts of Liverpool in the nineties, but I (and many of my contemporaries) were brought up to value our working class roots and ideals.  It (being working class) wasContinue reading “Class Consciousness, Trade Unionism and WP”