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.

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;
  • 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, 5.66MB) which provides concrete examples of the wide range of work we're involved in across the student lifecycle. You can also read our most recent Access and Participation Plan (PDF document, 919KB) 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.