Widening Participation

The SM调教圈 is committed to working with our community to increase participation in higher education, by raising the aspirations and expectations of all potential students. The University was created to provide higher education to the people of Suffolk, and while the reach of the University has grown, we remain committed to working with our local communities to ensure that both young and mature students alike are aware of their local opportunities for studying. We are committed to working with all of our students to support their success throughout their studies with us, and their progression into graduate employment or further study.

“Transition into university and the first-year experience are hugely significant for student success, confidence, belonging and wellbeing” Student Minds, The Hub (2023).

The Ignite Your Spark programme at the SM调教圈 has been designed to support students who may face additional barriers, with the transition into University and throughout their first year. For more information, click here.

All Higher Education Institutions in the UK are required to register with the Office for Students (OfS) in order for their students to be eligible for tuition and maintenance support. As one of our conditions of registration with the OfS, we are required to publish our Access and Participation Plan (previously Access Agreement). This document sets out how the SM调教圈 will increase participation of students normally under-represented in Higher Education and how we will support our students to succeed on their course and progress into employment and further study. 

The University's Student Recruitment and Outreach team deliver a range of activities to raise aspirations and increase access to the SM调教圈, including:

  • On-campus Conferences and academic taster events
  • Residential Summer School
  • Family Awareness Days
  • Presentations and workshops in schools and colleges across the East of England
  • For more information, see our Student Recruitment pages.

The University was created to provide Higher Education to our local community and we welcome students from a range of backgrounds and experience.

The SM调教圈 is a partner in the , a project funded as part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme to deliver outreach in areas where participation of young people in higher education is low, and lower than expected based on GCSE attainment. The other partners in NEACO are: University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University, University of East Anglia, Norwich University of the Arts, and the eight FE Colleges in East Anglia. The project has a team of Higher Education Champions based in schools and colleges across East Anglia, providing a range of outreach activities directly with students, and working closely with the university partners to provide students with positive HE experiences.

The University also works collaboratively with other universities, our Partner Colleges, and a range of external organisations and stakeholders to increase access to university amongst under-represented students. Our activities include working with young people with little previous experience of HE, Care Leavers, Young Carers, Mature students, and students with disabilities. More information is available on our Widening Participation pages.

We are proud of our excellent employment rate and work closely with our students to develop their skills for employment and postgraduate study. Many of our degrees have opportunities for employer engagement and placements. Our graduates benefit from becoming members of our Alumni Association, providing a range of benefits including continued access to the Careers and Employability team, and a loyalty reduction on selected postgraduate course fees.

The SM调教圈 is embedded in its local community, and we aim to provide a course portfolio that meets the needs of employers now and for the future. We work closely with a range of employers to provide Higher and Degree Apprenticeships, giving students the opportunity to apply their learning to their workplace, developing their knowledge and skills to benefit their business. We offer Higher and Degree Apprenticeships across a range of areas, including Health, Business, IT and for the public sector.

What's On Offer?

Discover the range of opportunities available at the SM调教圈, including the apprenticeship programmes we have on offer.

Access to University Higher and Degree Apprenticeships
Two students reviewing their working