Funding to help improve university prospects for the disadvantaged and ethnic minorities in Suffolk

University of Suffolk main building

University of Suffolk main building - Credit: Archant

The University of Suffolk will be working alongside universities in the region to help boost the prospects of those from ethnic minority and disadvantaged backgrounds, with the launch of a new outreach programme.

Tim Greenacre

Tim Greenacre - Credit: Archant

The Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (NEACO) will be launched in January and use a £9million government fund for the region to help youngsters into higher and further education.

Alongside Anglia Ruskin University, Norwich University of the Arts, University of East Anglia and the University of Cambridge, the scheme aims to double the number of disadvantaged people in higher education at universities, increase the number from ethnic minorities by 20% and address the under-representation of men from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Tim Greenacre, registrar and secretary at the University of Suffolk, said: “We are delighted to be a member of the NEACO consortium and contributing to widening participation in the region.

“Raising aspirations is in our DNA, this isn’t something new to us. What this project will mean is that we can continue and expand the good work already undertaken by our student recruitment team and projects like the Suffolk and Norfolk Collaborative Outreach Project.

“It means we will have a targeted approach on supporting individuals; setting them on the path to higher education.”

The project will feature the University of Suffolk working alongside schools, colleges and sixth forms in the county to identify pupils from disadvantaged areas, and help with raising aspirations and providing advice and guidance on higher education opportunities available.

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Tom Levinson, head of widening participation at the University of Cambridge and interim NEACO project manager, said: “This programme provides an unprecedented opportunity to widen participation to higher education and improve social mobility in East Anglia.

“The funding which the Government has allocated to East Anglia recognises the fact that we have thousands of bright young people in the region with huge potential, and the ability to take their education further.”

The scheme will run until December 2018, with the possibility of an additional two years of funding into 2020.