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Sussex shortlisted in 2013 Times Higher Education Awards

The University of Sussex is up for a national award in recognition of its work to ensure that talented students from all backgrounds can enjoy a Sussex education. 

Sussex has made the shortlist, published today (Thursday 5 September), for Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards 2013

Nearly a quarter (23%) of students starting at Sussex in autumn 2012 came from lower socio-economic groups – the University’s largest ever proportion. This was up from 19.5% in 2010-11 and 17.1% in 2007-08. 

The University has increased spending on widening participation activities to £8.1 million a year, with over half of this spent on the innovative First Generation Scholars scheme, which supports students who are from low-income backgrounds or who are the first in their family to go to university. 

Nearly half (1,260) of new students benefitted from the scheme, with 920 of these receiving a financial support package worth £5,000-8,000 for students whose family income is less than £42,600. 

Sussex has also expanded its outreach activity and now works with 75 different schools and will soon be starting to work with primary schools. 

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, says: “This shortlisting is terrific news and shows that we were right to take an evidence-based approach and put in place this carefully planned mix of support and outreach. 

“Our comprehensive and cohesive outreach responds to the needs of partner schools and utilises the expertise of University staff. It helps pupils make informed choices, develop skills, raise attainment and provides opportunities for personal development and enhanced motivation.” 

Other widening participation activities highlighted in the University’s entry for the award include:

  • A doubling of the number of Year 10 pupils attending summer schools on campus, as well as a new summer school for Year 12 students
  • Tutoring: 70 Sussex undergraduates delivered 4,000 hours in 16 partner schools and Sussex PhD students provided 360 hours of tutoring in six London schools
  • The innovative Study Skills at Sussex (S3) website, which helps students prepare for the transition to university
  • Campus visits
  • Subject tasters and conferences
  • Visits to schools and colleges. 

Sussex is up against five other higher education institutions: University of Birmingham, City University London, London College of Fashion, Manchester Metropolitan University, and Pembroke College, Oxford. 

The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony in London on 28 November. 

This is the third time in two years that Sussex has been shortlisted for a THE Award, after narrowly missing out on being named University of the Year during its 50th anniversary in 2011. That year Sussex was also shortlisted in the category for Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology.

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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Thursday, 5 September 2013

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