Widening participation

We identify and attract the most talented students to Manchester, regardless of their backgrounds.

A key ambition for teaching, learning and the student experience is for there to be no barriers to studying and no boundaries to learning.

What is widening participation?

Widening participation addresses patterns of underrepresentation in higher education.

To do this, we target prospective students from groups that are currently underrepresented, including students:

  • from low-income backgrounds;
  • from areas where participation in higher education is 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 live with a disability;
  • who are young carers;
  • estranged from their families;
  • from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds;
  • from Gypsy, Roma or Traveller communities;
  • who are refugees or asylum seekers;
  • from military families.

Our research in Manchester’s Access and Participation plan (PDF, 665KB) shows no significant differences in the entry qualifications or the degree attained between students from widening participation backgrounds and the rest of the student population.

Get to know our students

Learn more about our students and how they have benefitted from our programmes.