Widening Participation 20010-11 Operational Plan

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					                                  Department of Corporate Affairs
                                 Education Liaison and Access Office

                       Widening Participation Operational Plan for 2010-11


In June 2010 Queen Mary agreed a new Widening Participation Strategy for 2010-15. This
describes in detail the College‟s commitment to widening participation in the context of its
overall mission and strategic objectives for the next five years, as set out in the 2010-15 Strategic
Plan. The Widening Participation Strategy identifies clear targets for the next five years, and this
widening participation operational plan will address these targets through a programme of
outreach activities that will:

        support Queen Mary‟s 2010-15 Strategic Plan by developing and delivering activities
         with local schools that support attainment, enhance educational standards and encourage
         progression to higher education
        build on the successful expansion of the 2009-10 widening participation programme, and
         focus in particular on working with departments that have not been able to fully meet
         their widening participation targets
        support Queen Mary‟s Student Support Strategy, Graduates Attributes Framework and
         employability agenda through further expansion of the Peer Assisted Study Support
         (PASS) scheme and student ambassador programme
        better target all activities in line with HEFCE‟s guidance on targeting work with
         disadvantaged learners to ensure that the College meets its commitment to recruit
         students from key underrepresented groups.

Strategic Aim 2 of Queen Mary‟s 2010-15 Strategic Plan commits the College to “contributing to
the broader educational objectives of the City and East of London, and the Thames Gateway, by
providing educational leadership to improve aspiration and ambitious attainment in London
schools and colleges and to enrich the learning of their students”1. The 2010-11 Widening
Participation Operational Plan supports this objective through the outreach programme described
in detail in section 2. It also supports Key Performance Indicator SA2.2 “improvement in student
satisfaction as judged by the ranking in the UK National Student Survey (NSS) and the
International Student Barometer”2 by helping to improve student satisfaction through the PASS
scheme. Key Performance Indicator EA1.7 commits the College to increasing the numbers of
Queen Mary students undertaking work in local community settings3, and the Operational Plan
supports this through the development of the Student Ambassador scheme.

The 2010-11 widening participation programme is described in detail in section 2, and target
figures for centrally organised activities are given in section 3. Section 4 sets out the detail of the

  „Queen Mary, University of London Strategic Plan 2010-15‟, p 20
  „Queen Mary, University of London Strategic Plan 2010-15‟,.p 21
  „Queen Mary, University of London Strategic Plan 2010-15‟, p 27

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2010-11 widening participation budget, which includes £82,500 external income generated by
the widening participation team to support Queen Mary‟s outreach programme.

As in previous years, the outreach programme will work most intensively, but by no means
exclusively, with schools and colleges in north and east London. Some activities are funded
through local Aimhigher partnerships, and current Aimhigher funding will come to an end in
July 2011. The future of the Aimhigher programme after this date is not yet clear, and during
2010-11 we will work with partner schools and colleges to embed projects currently funded
through Aimhigher and ensure their continuation.

The Widening Participation team sits within the Educational Liaison and Access Office, and the
projects described in this Operational Plan are part of a wider set of activities carried out by the
Education Liaison and Access Office. These will include general information and advice and
guidance talks to students and parents on a range of themes. Queen Mary students will work as
mentors in schools and colleges in east London that have a high number of students in widening
participation target groups. A separate scheme will place Queen Mary students as classroom
assistants in primary and secondary schools in Tower Hamlets, an area of high social and
economic deprivation. The Education Liaison and Access team will provide information, advice
and guidance for schools and sixth form colleges through regular publications that will include
an annual parents‟ guide to higher education, a teachers‟ guide to higher education and regular
newsletters for teachers and careers advisors.


1. School and college visits

School and college visits are an important part of Queen Mary‟s widening participation
programme, and the content and structure is evaluated regularly to ensure that the students taking
part have the best possible experience. The programme introduces Year 6-11 pupils to the idea of
university study in various ways. It provides an introduction to the campus and the student
experience, and it helps them understand the differences in learning and teaching at school and
higher education level. It provides taster sessions that are designed to tie in to the school
curriculum, while also stretching students to think more deeply and broadly about their subjects
and their own aspirations.
In 2010-11 the school and college visit programme will offer a range of activities that can be
tailored to meet schools‟ individual needs. These will include:
      general visits that bring groups into the College to gain experience of the campus and the
       academic environment
      an introduction to campus facilities - students complete a library cataloguing and research
       activity and are shown around Queen Mary‟s student accommodation
      question and answer sessions from current Queen Mary students, who talk to school
       students about their own experiences of higher education and courses available
      talks on student finance and UCAS application
      subject-specific taster sessions in which students are given a university-style lecture by a
       Queen Mary academic
      activities with the Centre of the Cell bioscience education centre at Whitechapel

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During 2010-11 the school and college visit programme will build on work started in 2009-10
with IntoUniversity, an educational charity that delivers a range of activities to address
educational underachievement and social exclusion among young people. These include an
integrated programme of out-of-school study, mentoring, aspirational coaching, personal support
and, in partnership with universities, specially-devised FOCUS weeks, days and weekends. We
will work in partnership with IntoUniversity to support a FOCUS week for a group of Year 6
students, giving them the opportunity to learn about some of the subjects that can be studied at
university and encouraging aspiration and academic achievement. Work with IntoUniversity will
involve student volunteers provided through Queen Mary‟s Student Union Volunteer Co-
ordinator, and this will further Queen Mary‟s strategic aim of increasing the numbers of its
students undertaking work in local community settings.

2. 2011 Summer School Programme

The 2011summer school programme will build on the success of the 2010 programme, which
involved over 270 young people from 19 boroughs in east, north and west London. Five
summers schools covering a range of subjects will be offered in 2011, aimed at students ranging
in age from Year 9 to Year 12.

Year 12 Health Professions Summer School programme

Two five-day summer schools will take place in July 2011, delivered in partnership with City
University. These will be aimed at students interested in studying health-related subjects at
university, and they will offer a range of different subject taster sessions including medicine,
dentistry, forensic science, biomedical science, radiography, optometry, nursing and midwifery,
speech and language therapy, and applied biological science The medicine and dentistry strand,
led by Queen Mary, will give students the opportunity to spend a day at the prestigious Barts and
the London Medical Simulation Centre. They will take part in an activity that uses a realistic
dummy to replicate a range of medical conditions, and is video-recorded so that the candidates
can view and comment on their performance. The simulation will help participants develop skills
in clear communication techniques, conflict resolution and decision-making. All students who
take part in the two summer schools will benefit from an enhanced careers component that will
include a 30 minute one-to-one careers interview with a trained careers professional, and give
students the opportunity to attend a one-hour work experience workshop and a one-hour goal
setting workshop.

Year 9 Humanities Summer School

This summer school will once again use London‟s hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic
Games in 2012 to encourage students to develop and explore ideas of the history and changing
nature of place, the built environment and sustainable development. It will give a group of 30
Year 9 students the opportunity to visit the Queen Mary campus, and will provide small,
managed experiences of fieldwork through trips to external partners. Academic staff from Queen
Mary will deliver sessions in history and geography, and these will include popular activities
from previous years, such as the opportunity to interview a witness to the 1948 Olympic Games.
New workshops on citizenship, lobbying and social and sustainable housing will be developed
by academic staff from Queen Mary‟s Geography department and the London Citizens group.
The 2011 programme will be enhanced by established links with external partners such as the

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Building Exploratory (an architecture education centre) and LendLease, the property developers
delivering the Athletes‟ Village at the Olympic park.

Year 10 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Summer School

This summer school was particularly successful in 2010 in attracting a high number of girls, who
are often unrepresented in activities supporting science and engineering subjects. In 2011 it will
cover a wide range of subject areas in science and engineering, including mathematics, physics
and astronomy, and aerospace, mechanical and medical engineering. Students will be introduced
to various concepts during sessions delivered by academic departments, and will then have the
chance to gain practical experience in, for example: topology (mathematics), the solar system
and exoplanets (astronomy), designing and testing a wing (aerospace engineering), bridge
building (structural engineering) and wind turbines (sustainable energy). Participants will also
hear current and former students talking about studying these subject areas and the possible
careers to which they can lead.

Year 12 STEM Spring School

This spring school has also been successful in attracting a high percentage of female participants,
and it will continue to be developed and expanded in 2011. Students will attend a mixture of
lectures, demonstrations and workshops from Queen Mary‟s science and engineering academics
to find out about current work in the various subject areas, and pathways of study at university.
Academic content will relate to the students‟ school and college curricula, while challenging and
„stretching‟ them in a higher education environment. Students will receive advice and support on
the UCAS application process and the range of courses available at undergraduate level. They
will gain teamwork and communication skills through working on a group project that requires
them to engage in research and presentation exercises.

3. Revision classes and masterclass programme

Year 10 Masterclasses

This popular project involves all secondary schools in Waltham Forest, and it will be delivered
over three consecutive Saturday mornings in March 2011. One hundred and fifty students will be
selected from the schools, and they will work with academic staff on activities and topics that
will stretch them beyond the established GCSE syllabus. Established subjects include English,
chemistry, history, Japanese, physics and mathematics. It is hoped that an additional subject such
as Spanish will be offered for the 2011 programme, depending on demand from schools.

A2 Evening revision programme

This well established nine week revision programme will be offered to Year 13 students
attending schools and colleges across east, north, central and south-east London. The timing and
format was revised in 2010 to reflect changes to the A Level syllabus and to the taught modules
of the subjects offered (mathematics, sociology and psychology). In 2011 this will be revised
further to offer two sets of five week classes to cover additional modules from the selected

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Advanced Masterclasses

In 2010 this programme was offered to Year 12 students attending Sir George Monoux and
Leyton Sixth Form Colleges in Waltham Forest, and classes included biochemistry, economics,
geography, English, history and physics. In keeping with Queen Mary‟s objective of supporting
Level 3 attainment in local schools it is hoped that the 2011 progamme can be expanded to
incorporate new subject areas and a broader range of participating schools and colleges, and
discussions on this are currently taking place.

There will be four classes in each subject throughout the year, and students will work with
Queen Mary undergraduates and academic staff on activities and topics designed to stretch them
beyond current A2 exam syllabus and develop research skills. Students will also be given
information on how to apply to university to study their specialist subject.

Physics Practical School

The 2011 Physics Practical School is targeted at A2 physics students. Five groups of classes will
be offered, with each group of 16 students working for three-hour sessions on three consecutive
Wednesdays. The project aims to give students the opportunity to carry out open-ended
investigations using equipment not normally available in school and college laboratories.

4. Student Ambassador programme

Many of the activities delivered in 2010-11 will be supported by a trained team of student
ambassadors. Queen Mary‟s Graduate Attributes Framework defines the attributes that Queen
Mary students can expect to develop by engaging fully in the student experience, and confirms
the College‟s commitment to developing graduates who engage critically with knowledge, have
a global perspective and learn continuously in a changing world. The 2010-11 widening
participation plan will support the Graduate Attributes Framework by recruiting and training
student ambassadors, and using them to work with young people in a variety of ways. These will
range from acting as role models, guides and facilitators to delivering workshops and
presentations to support specific activities. As representatives of both the College and the wider
world of higher education, it is essential that every member of the student ambassador team
receives proper training and is able to do their work feeling confident in their knowledge and
skills, and clear about what is required of them. The student ambassador training programme will
include sessions on the UK educational system, child protection, presentation skills and the
protocols and procedures for working with schools, colleges and young people. Student
ambassadors will not only become able and confident in their direct role, but will also be
equipped with skills and experiences that will be useful to them once they have graduated. Queen
Mary aims for all students to develop a sophisticated view of their own employability, and the
opportunity to work as a student ambassador on the 2010-11 outreach programme will support

5. Academic Support for undergraduates

Queen Mary‟s 2010-15 Widening Participation Strategy recognises the importance of supporting
students who have been encouraged to come to university through widening participation
activities once they are enrolled on a course. This support will be continued and expanded in
2010-11 through the following schemes:

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Peer Assisted Study Support (PASS) Scheme.

The Peer Assisted Study Support Scheme (PASS) is run in partnership between the widening
participation office and academic departments, led by students and scaffolded by staff. It is a
course-based mentoring scheme where more experienced undergraduate mentors help first-years
settle in to higher education. PASS at Queen Mary, as well as helping students towards their
academic goals, also promotes citizenship and employability, in line with the College‟s 2010-15
Strategic Plan. In 2009-10 PASS was expanded to include seven schools and departments:
Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Mathematical Sciences, Biological and Chemical
Sciences, Institute of Dentistry, Engineering and Materials Science and Languages, Linguistics
and Film. All of these will continue with the scheme in 2010-11, and they will be joined by the
Departments of History and Physics and the School of Economics and Finance.

Mentors are trained by Peer Mentoring Coordinator, with help from Queen Mary‟s Careers
Service and former PASS mentors. Each group of mentors is led by an undergraduate „student
organiser‟, paid an hourly rate through the widening participation office. In a role key to the
scheme‟s success, these student organisers liaise with mentors, academics, departmental
administrators and the central coordinator. In 2010-11 it is anticipated that the team of
undergraduate mentors will increase from 95 to 122, and will include 94 new mentors. There will
be skills development opportunities offered to mentors during the year, the nature of which will
be discussed at the first meeting of the expanded team of PASS student organisers early in the
academic year.

Departments choose the mentors and this confers on them valued recognition for the time they
give as volunteers. The benefits to mentors, in terms of their skills development for future study
and employment, are also highlighted and former PASS mentors report the interest shown from
employers in their mentoring experience. In 2010-11 the Peer Mentoring coordinator will
continue to develop links with the Careers Service to promote employability through mentoring.
The strength of these links is already demonstrated through the involvement of the Careers
Service in the mentoring training. The PASS scheme (together with the Student Ambassador
scheme) has been asked to contribute to the Graduate Attribute Mapping exercise, which further
demonstrates the personal development opportunities gained by becoming a PASS mentor.

Mathematics support classes

These are additional mathematical tutorials for first year undergraduate students identified by
their departments as needing to develop their mathematical skills.

Drop-in study centre (DISC)

The Drop-in Study Centre will continue to offer free and impartial advice in mathematics,
chemistry, physics, biology and statistics. Students can receive guidance on how to approach
their subject, get general help on questions and benefit from one-to-one tutoring. It will be open
every lunchtime during term time.

6. Widening Participation Work with Academic Departments

Queen Mary is one of the country‟s top research institutions, and this strength will be used to
enhance widening participation through the role of academic departments. In 2010-2011

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academic departments will continue develop and deliver an extensive range of widening
participation activities in addition to the projects offered through the central widening
participation team. These will include taster days and lectures, summer schools, targeted
workshops and activities organised around events such as National Science and Engineering
Week. The widening participation team will continue to develop work with academic
departments, to expand widening participation activity and to share information across the
College. The cross-departmental Widening Participation Operational Forum will continue to
provide an opportunity for all departments to come together to share best practice and discuss

7. Work with gifted and talented students

Queen Mary has been a prominent supporter of the development of gifted and talented education
in London through its role as lead partner in the London Excellence Hub. Funding for this three-
year project will not continue after 2010, and we will seek alternative funding from schools,
local authorities, education charities and employers to continue work with gifted and talented
young people in London. Funding for the following projects in 2001-11 has already been

   a pilot project funded by the National HE STEM programme that will support a group of
    African-Caribbean boys in their applications through UCAS, identify any barriers to their
    successful application, identify strategies for successful application and evaluate their

   a programme of work with Eastbury school in Barking and Dagenham, funded by the School
    and Higher Education Links in London (SHELL) project. Queen Mary will deliver a
    programme of activities for Year 7, 8 and 9 gifted and talented students. Participants will
    receive specialist year-group tailored enrichment opportunities, through interactive
    workshops facilitated by academics and current Queen Mary students. Workshop delivery
    will be a combination of “in school” and campus provision.

8. External widening participation projects led by Queen Mary

Queen Mary will continue as lead HEI in externally funded widening participation projects that
are based at the College and managed through the widening participation office. These include:

   London East Thames Gateway Aimhigher Partnership (LETG). Queen Mary has been
    the lead partner in the London East Thames Gateway Aimhigher Partnership since April
    2003, and was instrumental in setting up the partnership. Current Aimigher funding will
    come to an end in July 2011 and the future of the Aimhigher programme after this date is not
    yet clear. The College will work closely with partner institutions to try to ensure the
    sustainability of Aimhigher after 2011, and the widening participation team will work
    directly with partner schools to embed and continue Queen Mary projects currently funded
    by Aimhigher.

   SAMDA (Student Assisted Medical and Dental Applicants). SAMDA is a student led
    scheme based in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Queen Mary. It works with young
    people from disadvantaged backgrounds to support them with their applications for

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   competitive courses in medicine and dentistry. The project is delivered through a programme
   of outreach work with schools and colleges in east London, and it offers practical support
   throughout the whole process of application. In 2010-11 the widening participation team will
   continue to work with SAMDA, and volunteer students involved in the project will be invited
   to participate in the Year 12 health summer school programme. The Head of Outreach and
   Widening Participation will continue to work with the project to help secure future funding.

9. Involvement in external local and regional initiatives

Queen Mary will continue to play an active role in many strategic local and regional initiatives,
and the Head of Outreach and Widening Participation will represent the College on key strategic
groups including:

      Tower Hamlets Education Hub
      London East Thames Gateway Aimhigher Partnership
      WECAN (London West, Central and North) Aimhigher Partnership
      Linking London Lifelong Learning Network
      Southern Widening Participation Practitioners Network
      London region post 14 network


Activity                                  Year Group                       Target number of
Health Summer School (east London)        Year 12                          85
Health Summer School (north, west         Year 12                          85
and central London)
Humanities Summer School                  Year 9                           30
STEM Summer School                        Year 12                          40
STEM Summer School                        Year 10                          30
School and College visits                 Years 6-11                       500
Waltham Forest Masterclasses              Year 10                          150
Advanced Masterclass programme            Year 12/13                       150
A2 evening revision programme             Year 13                          85
Physics Practical School                  Year 12/13                       90
PASS Mentoring Scheme                     First Year undergraduate         122 student mentors
                                          students                         (including 94 new

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Budget allocation for 2010/11                        £109,643
External income generated                            £82,500
Total income                                         £192,143

WP project and running costs (see summary below)     £192,143
Total Expenditure                                    £192,143

                         SUMMARY OF PROJECT COSTS
Activity Heading                External income Expenditure
Widening Participation Office   £0              £30,000
running costs
Summer Schools                  £56,000         £56,000
Masterclasses and Revision      £20,500         £23,000
Physics Practical School        £0              £5,000
Core Maths Support programme    £0              £31,700
PASS Mentoring Scheme           £0              £17,850
School Visit Programme          £6,000          £10,000
Additional support for projects £0              £18,593

                                Total £82,500            £192,143

Anne Setright,
Head of Outreach and Widening Participation
Department of Corporate Affairs
August 2010

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