.

National conference aims to make a difference

5th November 2002

National conference aims to make a difference

ASTON University will host its national Student Tutoring for Widening Participation conference on Thursday, 7th November. The one-day event, which has been organised by the Birmingham Connection partnership*, is expected to attract delegates from across the UK.

Professor Mike Wright, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University, will introduce the conference. The Keynote Speaker is Elisabeth Hoodless, CBE, Executive Director of the Community Service Volunteers (CSV) and other speakers include Sinclair Goodlad, Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Higher Education, Imperial College, London and John Selby from HEFCE.

The conference will focus on sharing the outcomes of the Student Tutoring for Widening Participation project investigating the impact of students as role models for HE in schools and will also celebrate 10 years of the CSV Learning Together scheme.

Student Tutors are university volunteers who support pupils in local schools and colleges, working with a classroom teacher, half a day each week for a minimum of 10 weeks. They can also be involved in outreach through Easter and Summer Schools, student shadowing, university visits, numeracy and literacy support and other out-of-hours activities.

The Birmingham Connection received funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in 2000 for a 3 year project to evaluate the impact of student tutors on school pupils, develop outreach activities with local schools and share good practice. The project has investigated and built up in the potential of students as role models for higher education, working to raise attainment and aspirations, and linked this to the Government's widening participation agenda.

ENDS

For further press information please contact Sally Hoban on 0121 204 4552.

Notes to editors:

Photo opportunity of Elisabeth Hoodless, CBE, cutting a celebratory cake at 10.15am at Lakeside Conference Centre.

CSV Learning Together was set up in 1992 to promote and support student tutoring in universities and colleges nationwide. CSV and its partners now runs in nearly 200 UK Higher and Further Education institutions.�

The Birmingham Connection is a partnership of Universities and Colleges in Birmingham made up of Aston University, University of Birmingham, University of Central England, Matthew Boulton College and Newman College.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research