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, 4.84MB) 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.
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The donor-funded centre has worked with more than 1,000 local students to inspire and support their learning.
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A guide, based on University research, to help support children with social and emotional skills has been released to all primary schools in England.
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The University and Manchester Museum have been awarded sanctuary status to celebrate their good practice in welcoming asylum seekers and refugees into the community.
Manchester student named undergraduate of the year
Luke Collinson, a first-year engineering student has been named ‘Construction and Engineering Undergraduate of the Year’ at the TARGETjobs Awards.
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
If you’re a prospective student and would like to know more about how widening participation could help you, please visit our aspiring students webpages.
Find out how we use personal information relating to participants (or prospective participants) on pre-university events and initiatives.
PDF document, 110KB