Justine Greening MP praises NTU report into improving access and success for all students

Justine Greening MP visited Nottingham Trent University (NTU) today (Weds) to launch a report setting out recommendations on how to improve access to and participation in higher education.

NTU was the first university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge launched by Justine Greening MP in March last year. Its aim is to share best practice among participating organisations to find solutions to improving life chances, regardless of someone’s background. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

After signing the pledge, NTU worked with Think Social Mobility – a research arm of the Social Mobility Pledge – to produce a report giving insights into the successes it has had in improving access to university and raising attainment levels of students from areas where participation in higher education is low. The report, called Closing the UK’s progression gap, also sets out recommendations for other universities and businesses to follow. These include using data to identify and target support for students who may be at risk of falling behind or dropping out of university. It also highlights NTU research showing that taking a sandwich year placement enhanced graduate prospects regardless of a student’s background and levelled the playing field between advantaged and less advantaged students.

NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving.

Justine Greening MP also revealed the results of a Social Mobility Pledge survey into people’s expectations of universities in improving life chances during her visit.

She said: “Basically, people across our country rightly have an expectation that universities are open to students irrespective of their background – yet three quarters of people believe elite universities are not doing enough to recruit students from less well-off backgrounds – but also about what happens once students are there.

“Nottingham Trent is a great example of a university that understands the importance of this. They are using technology to track signals often missed by the human eye and to then generate an intervention in good time. The overall effect is improved engagement, which is a key factor in higher levels of social mobility.”

The report was launched at the University’s Clifton Campus where the MP also met students and saw an exhibition of photographs submitted by staff and students at NTU, depicting what ‘opportunity’ means for them.

We are keen to share our experiences with others so we can all work towards helping our students and graduates achieve the best outcomes possible.

Professor Eunice Simmons, Deputy Vice-Chancellor NTU

Professor Eunice Simmons, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at NTU, welcomed Justine Greening to the campus, nearly six months after she last visited to see NTU sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

Prof Simmons said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Justine back to the university. We are keen to share our experiences with others so we can all work towards helping our students and graduates achieve the best outcomes possible. It is why we were the first university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge and it is why we are proud to have been able to work with Think Social Mobility to produce the Closing the UK’s progression gap report which we hope will allow others to benefit from the successes we have achieved in this area.”

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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) was named University of the Year 2019 in the Guardian University Awards. The award was based on performance and improvement in the Guardian University Guide, retention of students from low-participation areas and attainment of BME students. NTU was also the Times Higher Education University of the Year 2017, and The Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2018. These awards recognise NTU for its high levels of student satisfaction, its quality of teaching, its engagement with employers, and its overall student experience.

    The university has been rated Gold in the Government’s 
    Teaching Excellence Framework
    – the highest ranking available.

    It is one of the largest UK universities. With nearly 32,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across four campuses, the University contributes £900m to the UK economy every year. With an international student population of more than 3,000 from around 100 countries, the University prides itself on its global outlook

    The university is passionate about creating opportunities and its extensive outreach programme is designed to enable NTU to be a vehicle for social mobility. NTU is among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A total of 82% of its graduates go on to graduate entry employment or graduate entry education or training within six months of leaving. Student satisfaction is high: NTU achieved an 88% satisfaction score in the 2018 National Student Survey.

    NTU is also one of the UK’s most environmentally friendly universities, containing some of the sector’s most inspiring and efficient award-winning buildings.

    NTU is home to world-class research, and won 
    The Queen’s Anniversary Prize
    in 2015 – the highest national honour for a UK university. It recognised the University’s pioneering projects to improve weapons and explosives detection in luggage; enable safer production of powdered infant formula; and combat food fraud.

Justine Greening MP praises NTU report into improving access and success for all students

Published on 17 April 2019
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