July practitioner bulletin (first draft � 7 July 2010) by mpU36R


									               July practitioner bulletin (final – 19 July 2010)

Main News

UCAS announces applicants’ increase for 2010-11
UCAS has published its 2010-11 applicant figures, which has seen an 11.6% rise.
So far this year, 660,953 people have applied to start full-time undergraduate
courses this autumn, compared to 592,312 last year. Other key points include a
12.4% increase of female applicants and applications from all age groups being
up on 2009 figures. To view the press release in full, plus associated data tables,
visit the UCAS website.

In addition to the UCAS figures, The Sutton Trust has published the results of its
annual Young People Omnibus survey of students, which found that a record
number of secondary school pupils in England and Wales want to go to university.
To download a copy of the report, please visit the Sutton Trust’s website.

Government implements immediate freeze on marketing activity
The Chancellor has set out plans to reduce expenditure across all central
Government departments, agencies and non-Departmental Public Bodies,
following the Emergency Budget. As a result, the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills (BIS) has implemented a freeze on all new government
advertising and marketing spend, which comes into immediate effect. HEFCE has
written to Area and Communications Leads (ACLs) to explain how the freeze will
impact Aimhigher partnerships. If you have any queries, please speak to your
local ACL or email aimhigher@hefce.ac.uk.

Update from the NCRT
As a consequence of the advertising and marketing freeze, Grayling’s contract
with HEFCE to provide a National Communications Resource Team (NCRT) will
end with effect from 31 July 2010. Grayling is working closely with HEFCE to
manage the implications of this and consider how activities and support may be
available to partnerships in future. More information will be made available to
partnerships in due course.

Changes to the National Aimhigher Awards
As many practitioners will be aware, unfortunately, as a result of the marketing
freeze, it is no longer possible to hold a ceremony to celebrate the National
Aimhigher Awards this year. Following internal and partnership consultation, the
difficult decision was taken not to shortlist or judge entries to the scheme, and
instead will award all nominees with a certificate to recognise their achievements.
Further details will be made available via ACLs. HEFCE acknowledges and values
the hard work that has gone into the scheme to date and would like to take this
opportunity to thank partnerships again for their involvement.

Aimhigher Associates Conference report available
The Aimhigher Associates Scheme held its Annual Conference on 18 and 19 May,
which was attended by more than 100 delegates from 39 area partnerships. The
plenary sessions included speeches by Professor Steve Smith, President of
Universities UK and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Exeter, Andrew Olsson,
Head teacher and Aimhigher supporter, John Storan, Director of Action on Access,
and a dramatic presentation by St James School, Exeter. Click here to download a
copy of the conference report and read the transcripts of the presentations and

First ‘Universities Week’ hailed a success
Universities UK led a campaign ‘What’s the big idea?’ between 14-20 June. This
was part of the inaugural Universities Week which highlighted the important role
of UK universities and their impact on the economy, culture, society and the
environment. More than 300 events and activities took place across the country.
To coincide with the launch, HEFCE published the results of the latest Higher
Education-Business and Communication Interaction (HE-BCI) survey, which
reported an increase in HE income from services provided to businesses and
society. Visit the HEFCE website for more details.

Aimhigher partnerships across the country took part in the campaign, including
Aimhigher Sussex, who took part by hosting a Taster Sensation Day and a
TakePart Day, the latter focusing on sports and leisure courses and training.

For more information on the campaign and related events taking place
throughout the summer, practitioners can visit the Universities Week website or
sign up to the Facebook page to show support.

Westminster Briefing event on widening participation
Aimhigher WECAN Director Graeme Atherton will be giving a presentation on
Aimhigher at Westminster Briefing’s ‘Participation in Higher Education: Protecting
and Improving the Drive for Fairer and Wider Access’ conference on 25
November, following publication of the Browne Review. Graeme is among a line-
up of key sector representatives, including Lord Browne of Madingley, author of
an independent review of higher education funding and student finance. For more
details, please visit the Westminster Briefing website.

New resources to support practitioners’ work with disabled students
Student Finance England has updated its ‘Bridging the Gap’ publication, which
provides information for disabled students on applying for Disabled Student
Allowances (DSAs). To order a copy, please call the publication line on 0800 731
9133 quoting reference SFE/BTGB/V10 or download a copy from the Direct Gov
website (scroll down to the Disabled Students' Allowances section).

The organisation has also launched a new monthly bulletin to provide the latest
news about the services they offer for disabled students, including details of open
days, seminars and an update about the process of DSA applications. Click here
to download the latest copy. For additional information or to download future
copies of the bulletin, please visit their website.

BrightsideUNIAID launches following merger of The Brightside Trust and
the UNIAID Foundation
The Brightside Trust and The UNIAID Foundation have merged to form the new
educational charity BrightsideUNIAID. Their work to support young people aged
14-25 years old will build upon previous partnership projects completed since
they first joined forces in 2008, through e-mentoring, online tools and teaching
resources. Visit the BrightsideUNIAID website for more details.

Latest from the Funders

HEFCE sets out HE funding allocations in the wake of Budget
HEFCE has written to vice chancellors and principles to outline decisions made in
response to the revised grant letter published by the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills, following the Emergency Budget. In the letter, HEFCE
details how the £200 million in savings to be contributed by the sector will be
delivered. Visit HEFCE’s website for more details.
Business Secretary makes first speech regarding higher education
Vince Cable MP set out his views on universities and the wider higher education
sector in his first speech as Business Secretary, on Wednesday 15 July. Mr Cable
discussed how the government is looking for ways of turning the recent funding
crisis into an opportunity for universities and the feasibility of changing the
system of financing student tuition. To read the speech in full, please visit the BIS

Details of NFER research report
The latest report from the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is
likely to be published later this year. The report is an evaluation of Aimhigher
learner attainment and progression, and provides evidence of the impact of the
Aimhigher programme together with the benefits of partnership. It will be
available to view on the HEFCE website towards the end of summer.

HEFCE asks universities to publish employability statements
Higher education institutions and HEFCE-funded further education colleges have
been requested by the Council to publish their employability statements on the
help they provide to students to improve their job prospects and transition into
work; the information will be published on the Unistats website by 31 August.
Further information is also available on the HEFCE website.

Government outlines priorities for Skills Funding Agency
Business Secretary Vince Cable has written to the Chief Executive of the Skills
Funding Agency setting out how government funding for 2010-11 should be
spent. Priorities include increasing the number of apprenticeships places;
reducing the number of 18-24 year olds not in employment, education or
training; and encouraging more people to participate in adult and community
learning. Click here to view a copy of the letter.

Spotlight on…

Aimhigher Kent & Medway team up with X-Factor star
Aimhigher Kent & Medway has teamed up with 2008’s X-Factor winner Alexandra
Burke to give local learners a taste of stardom. The partnership joined forces with
the New Line Learning Academy to give students the chance to perform with the
star in front of 60,000 rugby fans at Twickenham. After auditioning, 400 pupils
were selected to take part in the dance performance, including 73 learners from
Aimhigher schools. For more information, please contact Kent and Medway’s ACL
and Communications and Materials Officer, Linda Bishopp.

Aimhigher Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire launch ‘Access to the
Professions’ project
Aimhigher Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire has launched their Access to the
Professions programme, which focuses on access to medicine, law and
journalism, three professions that were highlighted in last year’s Alan Milburn
report as particularly challenging for young people from under-represented
backgrounds to enter. A group of Year 12 gifted and talented pupils who attended
the launch event will have the opportunity to be mentored by professionals, visit
universities, undertake work experience placements and enter a summer
internship competition. For more details, please contact Judith Robinson.

Communications Tip
The NCRT has developed a new set of template press releases to help
practitioners to promote partnership activities. To download the templates, visit
the Communications section of the practitioner website.

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