Widening participation

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.

Key stats

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.