Improving access to higher education

Find out about our commitment to helping young people from various backgrounds go to university.

Student ambassadors

Speak to our Widening Participation student ambassadors about their experience studying and living at Sussex.

Ask a student

Widening participation at Sussex

In light of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, all face-to-face outreach activity and events have been cancelled. The widening participation team are all working from home on alternative ways to offer advice and guidance to the young people we work with.

In the meantime, please follow our Twitter account @SussexFirstGen for relevant updates and guidance. You can also contact the team at any time by emailing

We believe higher education helps social mobility, and that it is important for all young people to have the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

The Widening Participation team helps young people through the decision making process of choosing a university and course, supports them to thrive during their time at university, and aids them in progressing to a graduate level job or further study – the full student lifecycle.

The team provides a responsive and inclusive programme, giving young people an insight into make informed choices about their future.

Widening Participation is also responsible for the pre-entry part of the lifecycle. We run a variety of activities working with pupils in primary schools right the way through to sixth form and college.

Our First-Generation Scholars programme is designed to introduce young people to higher education, to raise aspirations and attainment, and to help make sense of choices around higher education.

How it works

We help you make important decisions about your future. You will also have the chance to meet current students and experience university life first-hand.

If you’re under 16, activities are organised through our partner school network, however if you’re in Year 12 or Year 13 and interested in taking part in academic taster days or our residential summer school, visit our booking portal.

Contact us

  • For school and college partnerships outside Sussex, contact Paul Wiggins.
  • For school and college partnerships in Sussex, contact Chris Derbyshire.
  • For academic-led activities, contact Chris Mason.

The First-Generation Scholarship has made such a difference to me. The extra funding has helped with my food bills, rent in halls and travelling, so I haven’t had to struggle. I love being at Sussex.” Rhiannon Armitage
First-Generation Scholar

Access and Participation Plan

Our annual Access and Participation Plan sets out our tuition fee limit and a commitment to access measures, from financial support for students to outreach schemes.

See the University’s latest Access and Participation Plan.

This plan is approved by the independent Office for Students.