Greater Manchester Higher

The University of Manchester is part of the Greater Manchester Higher collaborative network.

We work together with universities and further education colleges across Greater Manchester to raise the ambitions of young people and increase awareness of higher education through providing impartial information, advice and guidance (IAG), alongside a menu of outreach activities.   

Uni Connect 

Uni Connect is a government-funded programme that supports the government’s social mobility goals by rapidly increasing the number of young people from underrepresented groups who go into higher education. Greater Manchester (GM) Higher deliver the Uni Connect programme in Greater Manchester. The Uni Connect programme is targeted at Year 9-13 learners from local areas where higher education participation is lower than might be expected given the GCSE results of the young people who live there. 

Uni Connect aims to: 

  • reduce the gap in higher education participation between the most and least represented groups; 
  • support young people to make well-informed decisions about their future education;
  • support effective and impactful local collaboration by higher education providers working together with schools, colleges, employers and other partners; 
  • contribute to a stronger evidence base around ‘what works’ in higher education outreach and strengthen evaluation practice in the sector.

Collaborative activities for all Greater Manchester schools

GM Higher are committed to offering free outreach activities to all state schools in Greater Manchester which include: 

  • campus visits;
  • in-school activities;
  • parent talks;
  • CPD for teachers and advisors. 

For some activities, we may ask schools to select learners who are underrepresented in higher education such as those who are the first in their family to progress to higher education, are in receipt of free school meals, who have been in local authority care, who have a disability, learning difficulty or long-term health condition or have caring responsibilities. Some schools will be proactively supported by GM Higher in accessing these activities based upon priority criteria. To find out more information about what support your school can receive, contact gmhigher@mmu.ac.uk.

Additional activities open to Uni Connect learners

  • Subject-specific taster sessions
  • Mentoring
  • 1-2-1 HE guidance
  • Summer schools

The Uni Connect progamme focuses on target wards, which are identified by areas where higher education participation is lower than might be expected given the GCSE results of the young people who live there. 

Pre-16 targeting

For any school-organised activity (subject-specific, hub-funded, projects) 66% of learners need to be from a target postcode.

For the remaining 33%, learners from the following groups should be targeted: 

  • Looked after children/care leaver
  • Disability (including long term health condition and additional needs)
  • Young Carers
  • Free School Meals
  • First-generation HE
  • Asylum seeker/refugee status
  • Military family/service children

For activities where individual learners sign- up (summer schools), those who meet postcode criteria will be prioritised, followed by those who meet additional WP criteria. 

For 1-2-1s we expect 100% of the learners to be from a target postcode due to the intensity of the intervention. 

Post-16 targeting

For any school/college-organised activity (subject-specific, hub-funded, projects) 50% of learners need to be from either an NCOP or POLAR 4 Q1 or Q2 postcode.

For the remaining 50%, learners from the following groups should be targeted: 

  • Looked after children/care leaver
  • Disability (including long term health condition and additional needs)
  • Young Carers
  • Estranged Students
  • First-generation HE
  • Asylum seeker/refugee status
  • Military family/service children 

For activities where individual learners sign- up (mentoring and summer schools), those who meet postcode criteria will be prioritised, followed by those who meet additional WP criteria. 

For 1-2-1s we expect 100% of the learners to be from a target postcode or a POLAR 4 Q1 or Q2 postcode due to the intensity of the intervention. 

You can find out more by downloading the GM Higher target postcode tools:

Regional Progression Framework

GM Higher have developed a Regional Progression Framework to underpin all of the activities that we offer to schools. The Framework sets out a planned, integrated and progressive approach to supporting learners towards higher education. Learning outcomes are provided against GM Higher activities to describe the demonstrable changes we expect to see in the learners’ knowledge, skills, attitudes or behaviours.

For more information about the Framework, please visit gmhigher.ac.uk/teachers.

How to get involved

To find out more information, access digital resources, view the calendar of events and book onto activities, please visit the Greater Manchester Higher website

Contact us

Greater Manchester Higher (Central Team) 

Tel: +44 (0)161 247 1244 
Email: gmhigher@mmu.ac.uk   

The University of Manchester (GMH Team) 

Email: gmhigher@manchester.ac.uk