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Queen Mary and Warwick join forces in widening participation

Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Warwick have organised a joint summer school for school students from London and the Coventry and Warwickshire area.

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The initiative will use Warwick and Queen Mary’s very different geographical settings to widen the horizons of young people from London to consider a university experience outside the M25, and conversely encourage young people from Coventry and Warwickshire to consider applying to university in the UK’s biggest city.

Warwick and QM’s respective outreach teams are sharing good practice and drawing on experience of working to widen participation in two distinctly different regions to enhance and strengthen existing initiatives and approaches. 

The summer school, taking place on the 17 and 18 July 2012, will provide 30 Year 12 school students with practical experience of studying medicine and related subjects at university. Plans are also being drawn up for jointly delivered events in 2013/14, including a five day residential Summer School split across both institutions' campuses.

The programme of joint activities is being developed to expose young people often likely to consider only local universities to a different region and encourage the idea of geographical mobility: Warwick and QM have underlined their commitment to it by agreeing to include relevant details in their 2013/14 Access Agreements. The partner universities are also working to develop a joint project that will undertake evidence-based research into the best approaches in widening participation, the outcomes of which will inform their activity in this area. 

Professor Christina Hughes, the University of Warwick’s, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Access, Widening Participation and Development said: “This novel programme not only encourages young people to expand their virtual horizons to consider studying at a leading University, it also encourages them to look beyond what is almost their literal physical horizons to consider studying somewhere beyond their home city or region.”

Anne Setright, Head of Widening Participation at Queen Mary, University of London said: “This is the beginning of an exciting new programme of widening participation work with our colleagues at the University of Warwick. The young people involved will experience what it is like to study medicine and related subjects at two universities, and have the opportunity to meet current students at our respective, very different campuses.”

This widening participation initiative is just one element of a wider Queen Mary and Warwick partnership, encompassing a series of initiatives based on shared philosophy and mutual understanding.

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