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£1M programme to help non-privileged students attend leading university

22 Jan 2007

The University of Manchester has teamed up with the Goldman Sachs Foundation and Sutton Trust to help up to 900 gifted students across the UK into higher education.

The University of Manchester Academic Enrichment Programme is working to attract high-potential students from non-professional backgrounds or from families with little tradition of higher education from state schools across the North West.

The overall programme, which will cost about 1m, will begin in July 2007 and attract 100 students a year to initiatives being led at Manchester, as well as Nottingham and Birmingham Universities. It follows research which shows that young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are more debt averse and, in the light of this year's introduction of top-up fees, more likely to want to stay with their families to reduce costs and maintain local friendships.

Manchester, Birmingham and Nottingham were chosen because of their regions' low progression rate to higher education (around 25% compared to a national participation rate of 43%).

Dr Tim Westlake, Director of the University's Student Recruitment, Admissions and Widening Participation Division, said: "This programme will significantly extend the opportunities that the University is able to offer to talented students from non-privileged backgrounds across our region. We are delighted to lead the Manchester-arm of this project with the support of Goldman Sachs Foundation and The Sutton Trust - two organisations that share Manchester's values in promoting equity of access to higher education."

Stephanie Bell-Rose, President of The Goldman Sachs Foundation, said: "In the most deprived areas of the city, within a short distance of University libraries, lecture halls and student residences, only one young person in ten actually ends up as an undergraduate. The Goldman Sachs Foundation is delighted to be working in collaboration with the Sutton Trust and The University of Manchester to help talented students realize their potential and acquire critical skills that they will need to succeed in a global society."

Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, the educational charity which he set up in 1997 to help non-privileged children, said: "Over the life of the project we will be active in persuading the Government and other institutions to adopt the Academic Enrichment Programme model more widely across the education system."

The University of Manchester is currently inviting students to apply to the programme which will begin with a one-week Summer School at the end of the lower sixth year. Students opt into different subject strands and receive follow-up sessions and mentoring from current undergraduates. They are also given leadership training and personal development programmes.

Teachers and sixth form students who would like to find out more about the programme can visit or telephone 0161 275 2050.

Notes for Editors:
For further information contact: Jon Keighren, Media Relations Manager, The University of Manchester, on 0161 275 8384

The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester is Britain's largest single site University and is leading a bold and exciting plan - the Manchester 2015 Agenda, which aims to make it one of the top 25 universities in the world.

As part of this plan, the University aims to be the most accessible research intensive University in the UK by increasing opportunities for students of outstanding potential from traditionally underrepresented sections of society to progress into higher education. It has invested in one of the most generous packages of scholarships and bursaries for students to ensure that, irrespective of financial situation, students can progress into the University. It is also investing in the development of new outreach activities such as the Academic Enrichment Programme to further raise awareness of the benefits of higher education.

Further information about the University's activities can be obtained by contacting Julian Skyrme 0161 275 2050 / 07855 148215. Additional information about The University of Manchester Academic Enrichment Programme can be obtained from

The Goldman Sachs Foundation
The Goldman Sachs Foundation is a global philanthropic organization funded by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. The Foundation's mission is to promote excellence and innovation in education and to improve the academic performance and lifelong productivity of young people worldwide. It achieves this mission through a combination of strategic partnerships, grants, loans, private sector investments, and the deployment of professional talent from Goldman Sachs. Founded in 1999, the Foundation has awarded grants of $94 million since its inception, providing opportunities for young people in more than 20 countries.

The Sutton Trust
The Sutton Trust is a charity founded in 1997 by Sir Peter Lampl with the aim of providing educational opportunities for able young people from non-privileged backgrounds, and of improving social mobility. The activities of the Trust are aimed at helping able children who are educationally disadvantaged, by raising aspirations as well as academic achievement and it focuses on the following areas:

  • Access to university for under-represented groups, including summer schools, teacher weeks, and outreach.
  • Primary and secondary school curriculum enrichment projects.
  • An open access to Independent schools.
  • Independent/State school Partnerships.
  • Enriching early learning for the under-three age group, including the involvement of parents in Stimulating their children's early development.
  • Research and analysis surrounding these issues.

For further information about The Sutton Trust and Goldman Sachs see or ring Tim Devlin, Press Officer on 01205 290817 or 07939 544 487.