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University of Bath

Widening Participation's external links and partnerships

We collaborate with schools, colleges, universities and external organisations to encourage students from under-represented groups to apply to university.

Our collaborators

We work with schools, other universities and external organisations.

This helps us reach more students from under-represented groups as we are able to communicate with schools and colleges outside our catchment area. We also share ideas and best practices for future activities.

Our current links and partnerships


IntoUniversity centres help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to apply to university or take a different path. The University of Bath, along with Bristol and Exeter universities, sponsor the IntoUniversity centre in south Bristol.

Brilliant Club

The Brilliant Club exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly selective universities. They do this by mobilising the PhD community to share its academic expertise with state schools. In addition to University of Bath PhD researchers running projects in schools we also host launch and graduation events on the University campus.

SEREN Network

The Seren Network supports only the most academically able students from all state schools with a 6th form and further education colleges in Wales. It helps these students gain entry to leading universities in Wales, the UK and overseas.

Social Mobility Foundation

The Social Mobility Foundation provide opportunities and networks of support for 16-17 year olds who are unable to get them from their schools or families.

Nuffield Foundation

We work in partnership with the Nuffield Foundation, a non-profit organisation providing 4-week and 6-week research placements in universities and industries in the South West. These research placements are for students in their first year of a Post-16 STEM course, and take place during the school or college summer holidays.

This scheme gives students a chance to work alongside professional scientists, engineers, technologists and mathematicians, and to carry out their own piece of research. The scheme is particularly targeted at students from low-income or disadvantaged backgrounds. These students may be awarded a weekly bursary while they are on placement.

The project provides them with a well-recognised achievement to put on their UCAS form or CV. It also helps them to improve their written and verbal communication skills and overall levels of confidence.

Western Vocational Progression Consortium (WVPC)

The University of Bath chairs the Western Vocational Progression Consortium, a collaboration between seven universities in the region.

The WVPC aims to encourage more adults and students taking vocational courses to go on to higher level study. It also does research about vocational progression routes and raises awareness of effective practice.

Vocational Progression Network (VPN)

The University of the West of England leads VPN to bring together those working with young people aged 14 to 19.

Western Access Progression Agreement Steering Group (WAPA)

Bath Spa University chairs WAPA to support Access to Higher Education Diploma students.

Lifepilot and Careerpilot

The University of Bath hosts the careers support websites Lifepilot, for adult, part-time students, and Careerpilot, which focuses on education and careers advice for 13 to 19-year-olds.

Western Outreach Network (WON)

The WON is a partnership of eight universities and HE colleges working with schools in the west of England. The University of Bath is the lead partner and works alongside Bath Spa University, University of Bristol, University Centre Weston, Bath College, Hartpury College, Wiltshire College and City of Bristol College. The network focuses on raising awareness of all Higher Education progression routes by improving access to local outreach activities, providing support to teachers and career advisors in schools and by running free sessions in schools to ensure that all pupils have the chance to learn about Higher Education.

The WON:

  • offers a single point of contact for schools to access information about the outreach and Higher Education options available to them in their local area
  • has a website with free resources and information for teachers, advisers, carers and parents
  • delivers free sessions and workshops in schools and colleges for students in Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 5

Wessex Inspiration Network (WIN)

The WIN is part of the National College Outreach Programme (NCOP) which is a high profile government initiative to address social mobility through improved take up rates to HE for students from certain wards and postcodes; students from these areas have the capacity, based on GCSE results, to go into HE but there is a lower than expected subsequent take up of HE as an option. Funded through HEFCE, the WIN has the single aim of improving the progression rate for students who are termed GAP students, with consortia working directly with students in Years 9-13 from the GAP wards.

The WIN is a consortia of Partner Schools, the Universities of Bath and Bath Spa and Bath, Weston and Wiltshire Colleges; the University of Bath is the lead body for this consortia. The area covered is BANES, North Somerset and Wiltshire. The consortium will be measured by its success in improving progression rates to HE; it is not about improving progression to a single institution.