The main focus of Uni Connect is to provide targeted higher education outreach to young people in years 9 to 13 living in particular geographic areas.
There are 29 local partnerships of universities, colleges, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, employers and others who work together to develop and deliver Uni Connect locally.
Where appropriate they work with related programmes, such as the Department for Education opportunity areas, and they coordinate with initiatives run by the National Citizen Service (NCS), the Careers and Enterprise Company and the Student Loans Company.
Find a local partnership hub
Uni Connect focuses on targeted outreach because the level young people aged 18 and 19 entering higher education in England varies across the country.
Uni Connect uses research on areas with an unexplained gap in participation to determine where investment can be targeted to boost the numbers of young people from these areas going into higher education.
997 target areas have been identified, which have:
- low levels of young participation (POLAR3 quintile 1) and lower than expected levels of young participation, considering Key Stage 4 attainment and ethnicity (quintile 1 or quintile 2), or
- low levels of young participation (POLAR3 quintile 1) and lower than expected levels of young participation, considering Key Stage 4 attainment only (quintile 1 or quintile 2).
Read more about how we measure young participation in higher education.
The 29 local partnerships have established outreach hubs that cover every local authority in England.
The outreach hubs deliver outreach activity and offer a range of support to schools, colleges and other organisations.
|What outreach hubs do
||How they do it
|Help teachers and advisers find out about the outreach activity available in the area
- act as a point of contact and information for all secondary schools and colleges in their geographic remit
- host a website with details of the local outreach offer and other information to support schools and colleges.
|Support schools and colleges in areas of low participation to access higher education outreach
- engage with schools and colleges to understand their outreach needs
- facilitate access to existing outreach provision, either locally or nationally
- work collaboratively to help develop new or expanded outreach provision to meet identified needs, using the combined resources of the providers in the area and drawing on the investment set out in their access and participation plans where appropriate.
|Provide a platform for other local collaborative activity
- engage strategically with local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, employers and others to understand the landscape of educational disadvantage, high level skills needs and joined up careers advice in the area
- develop innovative and locally tailored approaches to address the challenges identified through the above engagement, drawing in additional funding to support this.
How is the programme funded?
Funding of £60 million per year has been provided for academic years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20. Indicative funding for 2020-21 is £60 million.
Download the phase one funding allocations