The centres in Craigmillar and Govan are a ground-breaking collaboration between the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow and education charity IntoUniversity to provide additional educational support to those aged 7 to 18.
The collaboration will connect young people, who may never have dreamed of going to university, with two of the world’s leading Higher Education Institutions, providing exceptional opportunities to support their learning and nurture their ambitions, whatever those might be.
IntoUniversity Craigmillar is based at The White House. The community cafe and venue is run by the Community Alliance Trust for the benefit of the Greater Craigmillar Neighbourhoods.
IntoUniversity Govan is based at The Pearce Institute in Govan, Glasgow, and a third centre in Maryhill, Glasgow, will be launched in Spring 2022.
Leo, aged 9 and in P5 at Niddrie Mill Primary School in Edinburgh, said: “I have been coming here for three months now, since the school holidays, and it has given me a lot of education like computer science and maths as well as fun activities. It has helped me think about what I want to do when I leave school and the job that I want to do, to be a police officer like my grandpa, and I would need to go to university for that.”
Both universities will be involved in all three centres in the years to come, motivated by a shared concern for children growing up experiencing poverty and a belief in the power of education to transform young people’s lives.
Of the school leavers who attended existing IntoUniversity centres in 2020, 71 per cent went on to progress to university, compared with 26 per cent of students from similar backgrounds nationally.
Working closely with local schools and other agencies including Glasgow and Edinburgh city councils, the centres offer ground-breaking support to young people, including after-school academic support, mentoring with university students and local professionals, in-school aspiration-raising workshops and enrichment and work experience opportunities.
The Govan and Craigmillar centres will open to young people in April and once established, each centre will support more than 1,000 students per year.
The new Scottish centres are inclusive of all academic abilities and help young people to achieve a university/college place or another positive destination.
Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said: “The IntoUniversity centres are a critical element to the approach we are taking to widening participation looking at every part of the student journey. The centres are already demonstrating how they can help to nurture talent, aspiration and potential in communities, expanding educational opportunities for young people and their families and supporting them to access higher education wherever it is right for them.”
Dr Rachel Carr, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of IntoUniversity, said: “We are delighted to have opened three new learning centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh in collaboration with the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the success of students so far, as well as looking forward to what they will achieve in the future.”
Visit the IntoUniversity website.
Find out more about Widening Participation at Edinburgh.
Photography: Sam Sills