Today NUS launches a petition of students' union presidents, university Vice Chancellors and College Principals calling on government to sustain the Aimhigher programme into 2011-12.
Please read the briefing below and use it to make the arguments to your Vice Chancellor or College Principal for continuing the work of Aimhigher.
David Willets, the Minister for Higher Education, has announced that the Aimhigher programme is to close in July 2011. Aimhigher partnerships will not even be allowed to use the Aimhigher brand if they wish to continue their activities. This leaves the widening particpation agenda uncertain and unfunded in 2011-12 - removing support services at the very time disadvanted young people need it the most.
Aimhigher is the national programme funding the delivery of information, advice, guidance and support to young people who are underrpresented in higher education. Aimhigher works through local partnership networks which coordinate activities such as summer schools and school visits, and ensure that young people are provided with independent advice about their choices for post-compulsory education.
Partnerships also ensure that good practice is shared and that expertise is developed on what kinds of outreach activities have the highest impact.
NUS will be releasing a series of videos in the coming weeks showing how Aimhigher has supported young people in making choices about higher education.
NUS has created a petition calling on leaders in the education sector to explore the options for sustaining Aimhigher provision and demanding:
- That a proportion of funding is sustained into 2011-12 to continue the Aimhigher networks and ensure a smooth transition into the new fee regime
- That the Aimhigher brand is released for use by those networks that are able to sustain their provision
For more information about the campaign or to update us on your discussions with your VC or Principal, get in touch.