A new partnership between the University of Salford, the University of Manchester and IntoUniversity, the UK’s largest university-access charity, has been announced and will see The Beacon Centre in Salford become the new venue for a learning centre for students aged 7-18 in the autumn.
In central Salford, more than half of young people are growing up in poverty, which has long-lasting effects on educational attainment (End Child Poverty, 2019).
The centre will work closely with local schools and with the Universities of Salford and Manchester to improve educational outcomes for these young people. It will also add to existing youth services provided by The Beacon Centre, as well as working alongside other organisations serving the community from the centre in Salford, including Early Break, 42nd Street, Salford Community Leisure and Foundation 92.
The centre is the second IntoUniversity centre opened in Greater Manchester and will build on the success of IntoUniversity Manchester North, opened in Harpurhey in 2018.
Dr Rachel Carr, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of IntoUniversity, says: “We are delighted to be launching our first centre in Salford this autumn. Working closely with our partners, the Universities of Salford and Manchester, we are looking forward to building long-lasting relationships with families and schools to support young people with their ambitions.”
IntoUniversity centres are based in the heart of local communities and support young people from 7 to 18, working closely with schools and families to sow the seeds of aspiration at a young age.
Four full-time members of staff are being recruited to deliver after-school Academic Support sessions to Primary and Secondary school children, aspiration-building workshops in partnership with local schools and a Mentoring programme with current university students and professionals.
Students will be able to access the centre for Academic Support after school Monday to Thursday during term time, and workshops with partner schools will run during the daytime throughout the week.
In 2020-21, IntoUniversity supported more than 40,000 students across 32 centres in 18 towns and cities across England and Scotland. 66% of students who attend IntoUniversity centres go on to progress to university, compared with 26.6% of students from similar backgrounds nationally.
Once established, the centre will benefit over 1,000 students a year.
Professor Helen Marshall, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Salford, said: “As a university, we have a strong track record in the area of widening participation and are motivated to helping students realise their full potential. We are proud to make a major contribution to providing access to higher education across Salford, the North West and nationally.
“I am delighted to support the launch of a new IntoUniversity right here on our doorstep in Salford. The new centre will engage traditionally under-represented groups and aid our mission to give all students the best possible opportunity in life to succeed.”
“I am delighted that we are playing our part in this important initiative which benefits young people in our community,” said Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice Chancellor of The University of Manchester. “We want to attract the very best students from all backgrounds to our university because we believe that a diverse student community fosters a vibrant and cohesive social environment. We were proud to partner with IntoUniversity to establish the first learning centre in Manchester, which opened its doors in Autumn 2018 and has worked with over 2000 young people so far – we now want to build on that commitment to create a second centre in Salford, in order to ensure that more students in the region are able to access higher education.”