Navigating Higher Education

The University of Reading has joined forces with 50 organisations to launch a new online resource designed to help young people who have missed out on opportunities to learn about going to university due to COVID-19.

The new online hub Uni4Me, launched on 1 July, brings together online activities aimed at promoting access to higher education and has been backed by the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP.

Uni4Me will offer free, interactive activities including virtual courses in a range of subjects led by university academics; online tuition and support in core GCSE and A Level subjects; live events involving leading academics, students and specialist higher education advisors; information sessions for parents and carers, and virtual campus tours.

Inspiring students

It’s important that students who might not normally consider higher education to have access to information about going to university, so that no pupil misses out. Dr Rachel South, Head of UK Recruitment and Outreach at the University of Reading, and Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP, tell CONNECTED more about the initiative.

Dr South said:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit one of the most important parts of our work the hardest – inspiring young people who might not otherwise consider going into higher education.

“The Uni4Me platform is a great opportunity for us to use lots of existing materials we’ve developed over years of working with schools and colleges to help more young people, their parents and supporters. Our smart series of online courses have already been uploaded to the platform and are geared towards helping understand the process of entering higher education.

“We will be developing more material for the Uni4Me platform. This will include a wide range of virtual and online subject tasters together with our popular HealthReach programme [which aims to inspire young people to consider careers in healthcare]. We will also be extending our Study Smart courses with further content around all aspects of the student experience, including resources to support access to higher education, wherever young people might be considering applying to.”

Michelle Donelan MP, said:

“This has been an incredibly challenging time for pupils and it has never been more important for the sector to give every pupil the information and support they need to choose the right pathways for them.

“That is why I am delighted to launch Uni4Me, a platform to help students with the talent and ability to access and succeed within our world-leading universities, regardless of their background.”

Widening access to higher education

The online hub, led by the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) and funded by the participating organisations, will act as a central portal where learners, parents and teachers can access free activities to help them learn about, and progress to, higher education.

Uni4Me will support higher education providers and Uni Connect partnerships in their work to widen access to higher education for those from under-represented groups. Over £600 million in 2020-21 has been invested by higher education providers and the Government to close gaps in higher education participation between those from different backgrounds.

Find out more about how the University of Reading has been supporting our current students throughout the pandemic.