A programme to help more young people in Lancashire start university has been handed a funding boost after being renewed until July 2021.
Future U, which works to increase the numbers of young people in Lancashire attending higher education, has been extended for the next academic year, following an approval of funding by the Office for Students.
The £60m Uni Connect programme supports 29 different projects like Future U all across the UK to help young people in school years 9 to 13 access higher education.
Since launching in 2017, Future U has held more than 800 events and activities to support over 16,000 young people to think about applying for university. The programme works alongside the county’s four universities and 10 colleges throughout Lancashire and has continued to deliver activities online during the lockdown.
In addition to promoting the benefits of university to prospective students, the programme also supports young people to understand student finance, living away from home and raising career ambitions to develop the next set of skilled workers for the county.
Theo Blackburn, Programme Manager at Future U said: “Future U plays a crucial role in supporting young people across Lancashire by raising their aspirations and removing barriers to them progressing on to university as well as Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
“As part of Phase 2 of our project we are very excited about the increased number of schools and colleges we are able to support with our new criteria. We’re also watching what a positive impact our new website is having in supporting all secondary schools across Lancashire.
“We will be increasing the range of resources available over the coming months including guidance for parents and carers on how to support their young people.”
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.