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North West universities team up to help guide teens

Universities from across the north west have teamed up to help teenagers prepare for higher education in a range of online events.

Next week’s events have been set up by Future U, Lancashire’s Uni Connect programme, along with its counterparts, Greater Manchester Higher, Shaping Futures in Merseyside and HELOA, an independent association of HE professionals

The [email protected] programme allows students from North West schools to find out more about individual universities, living away from home and student finance, through a series of online sessions, videos and live chats.

The sessions run from Tuesday, June 23 to Friday, June 26 and students and parents can book on the sessions through the Shaping Futures website


The University of Manchester, University of Liverpool and Lancaster University, along with other universities in Preston, Salford, Cumbria, Liverpool, Manchester, Chester and Bolton are all taking part in the four day event.

The events are designed to help more young people in the region attend higher education and encourage teenagers to think about aspirational careers to pursue after completing their A-Levels.

The events taking place as part of [email protected] included opportunities for students to question individual universities on applications, student finance, living arrangements, courses and post-degree job prospects.

Over the four-day event, younger students will learn about how to choose a university and a course, while current university applicants will be briefed on how to prepare for going to university, moving away from home and living independently.

The series of events have been arranged in partnership with HELOA, the professional association for staff who provide guidance to prospective higher education students, their families and advisers.

Jonny Atkinson, UK Chair at HELOA, said: “Collaboration is at the heart of most frontline IAG professionals. The greater our awareness of provision, the better we are at advising and supporting students. In an increasingly competitive market, our members continue to place students first, supporting them to make informed choices, ensuring they find the right options even if that’s not with our own institution.

“The Higher Education sector works closely and collaboratively. We understand there is no one size fits all and by supporting each other we are able to continuously develop and improve regardless of the challenges we face.”

Theo Blackburn, Programme Manager at Future U, said: ‘We are excited to be part of this event that allows students around the county to easily access advice and guidance from different universities all in one place.

“We recognise that it is difficult for students to know who to turn to for information, but by adopting a collaborative approach we hope to ease this challenge by providing an engaging and informative event.’

Future U is part of the national Uni Connect Programme, funded by the Office for Students, and continues to support school pupils across Lancashire to encourage more young people to think about higher education and future careers. The project involves institutions and organisations across the county including the University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University, Edge Hill University and the University of Cumbria.

Lancashire’s Future U works with a network of schools, in addition to colleges, higher education providers and local agencies to create tailored activities to meet the needs of students for now and the future.

Its list of partners includes: Blackburn College, Blackpool Sixth Form College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Burnley College, Edge Hill University, Inspira, Kendal College, Lancaster University, Myerscough College, Nelson and Colne College, Preston’s College, STEMFirst, Runshaw College, The Lancashire Colleges, University of Central Lancashire, University of Cumbria, West Lancashire College.

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