At The University of Manchester, widening participation is firmly embedded into how we run our institution. A key ambition for teaching, learning and the student experience is for there to be no barriers to studying and no boundaries to learning.
We’re in the top quintile of the Russell Group for the number of students from areas of low participation in higher education and lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
We have one of the highest number of students from low-income backgrounds in the English Russell Group, with more than a quarter of our undergraduate students coming from low income households (less than £25,000 per year).
About a third of our new UK undergraduates receive financial support through our means-tested Manchester Bursary.
Widening participation addresses patterns of under-representation in higher education. To do this, we target prospective students from groups that are currently under-represented, including students:
- from low income backgrounds and low socioeconomic groups;
- from postcodes where participation in higher education in low;
- who are the first in their generation to consider higher education;
- who attend schools and colleges where performance is below the national average;
- who are care experienced;
- who have a disability;
- who are young carers;
- who are estranged from their families;
- from under-represented ethnic backgrounds.
We identify and attract the most talented students to Manchester, regardless of their backgrounds. Our research shows that there are no significant differences in the entry qualifications, nor in the degree attained, between students from widening participation backgrounds and the rest of the student populace.
You can find out more by exploring our Annual Report on Widening Participation (PDF document, 5.2MB) which provides concrete examples of the wide range of work we're involved in across the student lifecycle. You can also read our current Access and Participation Plan(PDF document, 665KB) with the Office for Students, which sets out how we aim to improve equality of opportunity in higher education across all areas of the student lifecycle. Our 2020-21 plan was approved in August 2019 and you can find details of this and our previous plans here.
The University signs the Care Leaver Covenant
The University has signed a covenant which promises to support care leavers, aged 16-25, move to living independently.
Black and Asian midwives inspire new generation
Manchester midwives of Black and Asian heritage have shared their stories to encourage young people from the communities to join the profession.
More than £1 million raised to help students in need
The University gives thanks to 3,000 supporters who donated to the Emergency Hardship Appeal.
Diversity Champions win Outstanding Social Behaviour Award
The University-backed community project won the award for Community Cohesion and Diversity.
Breaking barriers to higher educaton
The 'Supporting the Supporters' collaborative conference brought together those who work with care-experience young people to share expertise.
The Manchester Access Programme goes online
Manchester's flagship widening participation scheme has used Zoom to help students develop their academic skills from home during lockdown.
IntoUniversity Manchester North supports in lockdown
The team have provided essential support to students who used to attend the centre, to keep them on track with their education.
If you would like to learn more about widening participation and outreach at The University of Manchester, we would love to hear from you.
Please contact Stephanie Lee, Head of Widening Participation and Outreach
Teachers and advisers
If you’re a teacher or adviser working in a school or college and would like to know more about how you can engage with the University, please visit our teachers and advisers webpages.
Engage with the University
At Manchester, we want to ensure that our student body is representative of the diversity of talent in our communities.
Find out how we use personal information relating to participants (or prospective participants) on pre-university events and initiatives.
PDF document, 110KB