20 October 2011
Birmingham is taking a national lead in safeguarding access to a university education by launching a pioneering regional scheme to inspire young people to aim higher, says the Government’s access champion Simon Hughes.
Four of Birmingham’s universities - Aston University, Birmingham City University, University College Birmingham and the University of Birmingham - and representatives from over 50 local schools, academies and colleges, have launched a new partnership to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds access to exciting activities to motivate them to achieve their potential.
The Birmingham and Solihull Aimhigher regional partnership was officially launched on Wednesday 19 October, 2011. The event was attended by Simon Hughes, the Government’s Advocate for Access to Education, representatives from the partner universities, schools, academies and colleges, plus access practitioners, student mentors and young learners contemplating their future options.
The regional partnership was set up in the wake of the national, Government-funded Aimhigher programme coming to an end in July 2011. This loss galvanised local universities, schools, academies and colleges who decided to work together in a desire to ensure young people from less well-off backgrounds are not deterred from a considering university education and the opportunities that brings.
This shared commitment has enabled a new Aimhigher partnership to emerge, led by Aston University, Birmingham City University, University College Birmingham and The University of Birmingham.
Simon Hughes, a passionate advocate of access to higher education and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, fully applauds Birmingham’s commitment to supporting a regional Aimhigher partnership, a pioneering scheme that leads the way nationally.
“In the summer, when I made my recommendations to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister about safeguarding access to a university education, I said ‘energy and imagination’ would be vital in achieving this goal,” added Mr Hughes.
“I believe the pioneering Aimhigher scheme being launched in Birmingham and Solihull has both these qualities and demonstrates regional partnership in action.
“Similar projects have been set up - but I believe the Birmingham model is significant in that it has proudly retained the Aimhigher brand. With this come the values and legacy of the hard work which has inspired a generation of young people to believe that a university education was the right option for them.
“I look forward to seeing the results of Birmingham and Solihull Aimhigher. I am really confident that this scheme will support people across the West Midlands in their aspirations in the years ahead and I congratulate all the partners on the way they have pulled together to make this project a reality.”
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