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IntoUniversity Newcastle success

Learning centre sees success in supporting young people

Published on: 9 April 2024

A learning centre designed to help young people from under-represented backgrounds in Newcastle progress into higher education has supported more than 1,200 students in the past year.

Set up in 2021, the IntoUniversity Newcastle East Centre is a partnership between Newcastle and Northumbria Universities and IntoUniversity – the UK’s largest university access charity - and connects many young people, who may never have dreamed of going to university, with two leading Higher Education Institutions.

According to its 2022/23 annual report, IntoUniversity Newcastle East worked with 1,283 young people aged between 7-18 with advice, guidance and a way to progress into higher education or another chosen aspiration. This represents a significant increase on the 884 students supported through the Centre in its first year of operation.

The average progression rate into higher education for students supported at the centre  is 74% compared with national average progression rates for students from local authority-maintained schools of 44% – and just 12% locally.

Professor Chris Day, Vice-Chancellor and President, Newcastle University, said: “I am immensely pleased to see IntoUniversity Newcastle East having such a huge impact in raising the aspirations of young people in our region, enabling them to fulfil their potential. By providing vital learning and guidance for young people in the heart of their community, IntoUniversity Newcastle East is proving to be effective at supporting them on their journey into higher education, enhancing our own outstanding outreach activity.” 

Based at the Monkchester Community Centre in Newcastle’s east end, IntoUniversity Newcastle East is the first IntoUniversity education centre to open in the North East. The learning centre provides young people with academic support, soft skill development and experience of the world of work – providing opportunities to support their learning and nurture their ambitions, regardless of background.

Across the UK IntoUniversity Centres have supported more than 52,000 young people in the past year. Dr Rachel Carr, IntoUniversity CEO, said: “Our collaborative work has become ever more important as the long-term impacts of the pandemic are becoming increasingly clear, in particular on those from the least advantaged backgrounds. The educational challenges following the pandemic are not going away for our young people; it is crucial that we continue to work with our partners to ensure that our support remains impactful and that we adapt where necessary to meet emerging challenges and opportunities.”

Maximising the value of working in partnership with IntoUniversity is one part of the Collaborative Newcastle Universities Agreement, which brings together the world-leading expertise and collective power at Newcastle and Northumbria Universities to support the health, wealth and wellbeing of our local communities.

At work at the IntoUniversity Newcastle East centre

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