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Widening Participation

We have been transforming lives since 1828 and have always been committed to access and widening participation.

To this day we pride ourselves on being an open and accessible institution for people from all backgrounds. We believe strongly in the power of higher education to promote social mobility and this is reflected in our extensive widening participation activities and student support services.

Key statistics and data

For more details of how the University promotes and supports access, please see our most recent Access and Participation plans:

You can also download our full transparency tables, and view our HEAT privacy notice.

Transparency Return 2021

The information published in this file shows:

The number of students who attained a particular degree or other academic award, or a particular level of such an award, on completion of their course with us.

It shows these numbers by reference to:

- The gender of the individuals to which they relate

- Their ethnicity

- Their socioeconomic background

Access and social inclusion

We work with young people from specific groups that are under-represented in higher education. We believe that everyone should have the same opportunity to study regardless of background. We aim to enable this and address the imbalance in higher education participation so that we can ensure the University is fully inclusive institution that promotes social mobility.

We are keen to work with schools, charities and third sector organisations working with people and groups under-represented in HE. Under-represented groups we work with include (but are not limited to):

  • Those with experience of being looked after/in care.
  • Young people with caring responsibilities.
  • Those with disabilities.
  • Particular ethnicities including (but not limited to) gypsy, Roma and traveller, white males from low-socio economic backgrounds and young people from black, Afro-Caribbean heritage.

Find out more

If you would like more information about the activities we offer and how to engage with our projects, please contact our School Uni Network (SUN):

Schools and colleges

As part of our commitment to access and widening participation, we work in partnership with a network of primary and secondary schools delivering a programme of aspiration raising activities. These include on campus visits, workshops, group mentoring programmes, residential activities and revision sessions.

We work with schools who have a high proportion of young people who are from backgrounds under-represented in Higher Education (HE). We base this on factors such as:

  • Geographic location – young people who live neighbourhoods with high levels of deprivation and/or low-HE participation.
  • Low household income – assessed through free school meal/pupil premium eligibility.
  • Those who are first in their immediate family to attend university.

If you are a school or organisation that works with young people and you would like more information about the activity that we run through our access and widening participation programmes, please contact us on

For further details, plus resources and a full list of activities, please see our Schools and Colleges pages.