What is widening participation?

Widening participation is the drive to increase the proportion of learners who progress to higher education from under represented groups, particularly those from lower socio-economic groups.

Our commitment to widening participation at NTU

Here at NTU we want to help raise the aspirations, achievement and progression of all young people, but we know that many learners need additional information, support and encouragement to help them succeed. We have a dedicated team that works with young people, parents, carers, teachers and practitioners to deliver a programme of activities to motivate and inspire learners.

Our partner organisations

We work in close partnership with other institutions and support agencies that share our commitment to widening participation. These include:

  • schools
  • other higher education institutions
  • local further education colleges
  • local authorities
  • Education Improvement Partnerships

Our primary programme

Over the last ten years, Nottingham Trent University has received national recognition for the work we carry out in local primary schools with the aim of raising aspirations and attainment of pupils in Year Five and Year Six. Most of our partner primary schools fall within Nottingham city, although we do work with a small number of schools in Nottinghamshire and in the border areas of Derbyshire.

In Nottingham City, we work with families of schools called Education Improvement Partnerships. This means that our activities are not simply stand alone events, but part of a coordinated approach that ties in with community cohesion, extended schools and the gifted and talented agenda.

Displays and competitions

We have a series of displays designed for pupils in Year Five, Year Six and Year Nine that we put up in local primary and secondary schools and change once a term. Many of them have a competition element and we are happy to come in to assembly to formally recognise achievement with a prize-giving presentation for the winners.

Schools are free to use the display materials in any way they wish. In the past some teachers have used the competition element as a class activity and others have used aspects (such as dream jobs) to kick-start a topic being covered in class.

Subject activity days and summer schools

We run a number of higher education themed and subject specific activity days and summer schools, aimed at various age groups from Years Five to Eleven. For more information about what we offer, please contact us by email.

Family and community events

The Widening Participation team run a number of activities and events which are aimed at families as a whole, so that parents and carers are also aware of the exciting opportunities available through higher education. These events include:

  • activities and discussions at parent groups through schools
  • a presence at community road shows
  • a presence at school parents' evenings or options evenings
  • family fun event (aimed at Year Six pupils and their families)
  • family supper evenings in conjunction with the University of Nottingham and local colleges (aimed at Year 10 students and their families)
  • family celebration events as part of summer schools.

How can I get involved?

For more information on Widening Participation, how to get involved or to ask us a question, please contact us by email.

Students printing tshirts
Students looking through camera at media taster day
Primary school children participating in class