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University - Third Sector Partnerships

In its attempt to build a case for the value of university - third sector collaborative partnerships in the delivery of STEM outreach activities, AccessHE released a call for evidence to garner examples of existing partnerships across the sectors.

The call resulted in 17 submissions, summarised below. The submissions indicated that there is existing evidence of effective partnership working between the university and third sectors that can be broadly divided into the following three categories:

  1. Partnerships focused on widening participation to HE STEM disciplines
  2. Partnerships focused on enhancing general progression to HE STEM disciplines
  3. Partnerships with a broader STEM public engagement remit 

Following the summaries below, you can download a document that captures the submissions in full:

Submission (1) - Catalysing community change

Lead organisation: Lancaster University

Third sector partners: Signposts, MadLab, Help Direct, Ethical Small Traders Association

Partnership aim: To bring together academics and communities to carry out transformative research on the theme of citizen-led social innovation - further details

Find out more: Erinma Ochu, Project Manager,

Submission (2) - Buddy programme

Lead organisation: IntoUniversity

University partners: Kings College London, University College London, SOAS, Imperial College London, London School of Economics, Queen Mary's, University of Cambridge, De Montfort University

Partnership aim: A Buddy Programme targeted at 12 - 13 year olds offering them the opportunity to work alongside aspirational adults who are currently studying at university - further details

Find out more: Hannah Slaytor, Education Worker,

Submission (3) - Digital Schoolhouse

Lead organisation: Langley Grammar School

University partners: Royal Holloway, Queen Mary's, Brunel University, University of Reading

Partnership aim: Digital Schoolhouse is a transition project to offer Year 6 pupils the opportunity to visit Langley Grammar School for a day of specialist teaching in a dedicated computing environment. Lessons are designed in collaboration with universities and industry - further details

Find out more: Mark Dorling, Digital Schoolhouse coordinator,

Submission (4) - IntoUniversity

Lead organisation: Imperial College, London

Third sector partner: IntoUniversity

Partnership aim: On average, 50 - 60 student volunteers are involved in helping to deliver on- and off-campus IntoUniversity activities reaching, on a termly basis, 300+ young people - further details

Find out more: Minna Ruohonen, Head of Community Partnership, Imperial College London

Submission (5) - Brightside

Lead organisation: Brightside

University partners: University of Southampton, University of Leicester

Partnership aim: Delivery of a variety of STEM-related, widening participation activities for students aged between 14 and 19 - further details

Find out more: Amelia Smith, Projects Coordinator,

Submission (6) - Women in SET

Lead organisation: Centre for Science Education, Sheffield Hallam University

Third sector partner: Women in Construction, Arts and Technology

Partnership aim: To build confidence and encourage progression into education and work through developing skills relating to home ownership for women from the Pakistani community in Sheffield - further details

Find out more: Denise Eaton, Project Manager,

Submission (7) - Access to the Professions Evening

Lead organisation: Enfield Local Education Authority

University & third sector partners: St George's Medical School, Royal Veterinary College, Middlesex University, University of Westminster, SOAS, STEMNET

Partnership aim: An event for students in years 11 and 12 and their parents to find out about professions with a STEM focus and that includes interactive and specialist workshops

Find out more: Gwyneth Hamand, Learning Consultant,

Submission (8) - Skills gaps in the workforce

Lead organisation: University of Leicester

Third sector partners: Credit Unions (Commsave, Clockwise)

Partnership aim: To diagnose skills gaps in the workforce and to train students in useful skills to plug the gaps. In this case, to address credit unions' lack of higher statistical skills and VBA programming

Find out more: Jeremy Levesley, Head of Mathematics,

Submission (9) - Schools Technology Challenge

Lead organisation: Newcastle University Business School

Third sector partner: Formula One in Schools Technology Challenge

Partnership aim: Establishment of the 'Role Model Platform for Young Scientists' that aims to raise awareness and promote the take up of STEM initiatives (particularly motorsports initiatives) amongst boys and girls - further details

Find out more: Pooran Wynarczyk,

Submission (10) - Environmental social enterprises

Lead organisation: Middlesex University

Third sector partners: Social Enterprise East Midlands, Hill Holt Wood

Partnership aim: To build capacity and encourage growth of social enterprise environmental activity - further details

Find out more: Fergus Lyon, Professor,

Submission (11) - Further Mathematics Support Programme

Lead organisation: Mathematics in Education and Industry

University & third sector partners: Universities of: Bath, Exeter, Plymouth, Imperial, Kingston, Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Liverpool, Warwick, Leeds, York, UWE, Loughborough, Nottingham, Derby, Lancaster, Swansea, Wolverhampton, Northampton and Keele. Plus: UK Mathematics Trust, MyScience, National STEM Centre and National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics

Partnership aim: To widen access and promote post-16 Mathematics courses and STEM-related careers and HE courses through a variety of enrichment events - further details

Find out more: Kevin Lord, Support Manager,

Submission (12) - Student Hubs

Lead organisation: Student Hubs

University partners: Oxford, Imperial and Southampton

Partnership aim: To improve confidence, enthusiasm and attainment in Maths and Science amongst GCSE pupils through after-school support clubs - further details

Find out more: Amy Anderson, Support Officer,

Submission (13) - Nuffield Foundation

Lead organisation: Nuffield Foundation

University partners: University of York, Kings College, London Institute of Education, London network of 'Realising Opportunities' universities

Partnership aim: To change classroom practice through various curriculum projects which aim to enhance science teachers' professional development skills and to introduce evidence-based good practice into the classroom - further details

Find out more: Dr Angela Hall, Director (Science and Mathematics Education),

Submission (14) - Manchester Museum

Lead organisation: Manchester Museum

University partner: University of Manchester

Partnership aim: To give secondary and post-16 students the opportunity to interact with young scientists who can act as positive role models - further details

Find out more: Alexa Jeanes, Secondary and Post-16 Science Coordinator,

Submission (15) - Mathematics and Engineering Masterclasses

Lead organisation: The Royal Institution of Great Britain

University partners: The universities of: Imperial, Greenwich, London Metropolitan, Queen Mary, Kingston, Hertfordshire, Warwick, Cambridge, Liverpool, Bath, Bristol, Plymouth, Glamorgan and Open

Partnership aim: To enthuse and inspire young people in the art and practice of mathematics and engineering through the provision of Saturday morning masterclasses led by professional mathematicians / engineers - further details

Find out more: Dr Diane Crann, Mathematics Programme Manager,

Submission (16) - Talent 2030

Lead organisation: Talent 2030

University partner: University of Warwick

Partnership aim: To encourage greater participation in STEM subjects amongst teenage girls, and their subsequent progression into HE STEM and STEM careers - further details

Find out more: Aaron Porter, Director,

Submission (17) - Engineering outreach

Lead organisation: Coventry University

Third sector partner: The Smallpeice Trust

Partnership aim: To give Year 9 and Year 12 students a flavour of engineering through residential (4 day, 3 night) courses in structural and automotive engineering - further details

Find out more: Joe Etchells, Communications Coordinator,

Full details on each of the above submissions to the call for evidence can be accessed in the document below: 

Call for Evidence - Full Submissions