New project for Swansea’s aspiring academics


Gower College Swansea is set to launch a new project called HE+ in collaboration with sixth form providers in the City and County of Swansea and the University of Cambridge.

HE+, which aims to encourage and prepare talented academic students to compete for places at top universities, has been developed by the University of Cambridge and is being piloted in several areas of the UK.

It is part of the university’s commitment to seek out the brightest and the best students from all backgrounds and encourage them to apply to whichever HE institution suits them best, whether at Cambridge or elsewhere.

In each HE+ consortium, a group of schools and colleges commit to working together, supported by one of the Cambridge colleges, to stretch and support their most academic pupils with a carefully-planned programme of activities.

HE+ will see Gower College Swansea link up with Churchill College, Cambridge, to act as a ‘hub’ for A and AS Level students from the college and schools in the City and County of Swansea. The students will take part in extension sessions that stretch their knowledge and skills beyond standard syllabi, as well as receiving help with applications to top universities such as those in the Russell and 1994 Groups.

Because the scheme involves young people from local schools as well as college students, Gower College Swansea will offer extra provision in the evenings, weekends and during holidays.

"There are several successful pilot schemes for the programme already running in England but we are the first to have the privilege of running it in Wales,” says the college’s Oxbridge tutor Felicity Padley. “We’re delighted to take part in HE+ and are looking forward to the launch on 23 October which will be the first opportunity for the university, college and participating schools to get together.”

“As the college in Cambridge which is responsible for outreach to South Wales, Churchill is delighted in have a role in the HE+ consortium which is about to launch in Swansea,” adds Jonathan Padley, Widening Participation Officer at Churchill College. “It will be an excellent opportunity to collaborate with colleagues at Gower College Swansea and the seven partner schools in the consortium to develop a really exciting programme of support for Swansea’s aspiring academics.”

HE+ will be launched at the Gorseinon campus on 23 October between 4.30pm and 6.30pm.

About HE+
HE+ is a new collaborative project being piloted by the University of Cambridge in several regions of the UK.

The goal of the project is to help schools and colleges to share best practice in supporting and challenging their brightest students with extension activities and materials and to create an atmosphere in which a large group of students challenge and support each other in raising their academic attainment and aspirations.

Each consortium benefits from focussed input from the Cambridge College linked with that area, in the form of subject masterclasses, application support and visits to Cambridge.

It is hoped that HE+ will lead to an increased number of well-prepared students making more focussed applications to highly selective higher education institutions, including the University of Cambridge.

About Area Links
The University of Cambridge Area Links Scheme was established in 2000 to enable the Cambridge colleges to build effective, coherent relationships with state schools and colleges right across the country. Every area of the UK is now linked with a college to enable teachers in the state sector to develop better relationships with the University. 

The Area Links Scheme enables the colleges of Cambridge to get to know specific regions better and gives schools and colleges a more personal and direct way of staying in touch with the University. Each college participates in a range of activities and events either based in Cambridge or organised in their link region

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