Widening Access at Strathclyde
What is Widening Access?
Please note the office is currently closed and staff are working remotely, where possible. If you need to contact us, please do so through e-mail - staff email addresses are further down this page.
Widening Access (also known as Widening Participation) is a strategic priority for the University of Strathclyde, the Higher Education sector as a whole and the Scottish and UK governments.
The term refers to the removal of barriers for groups of students who are under-represented in Higher Education (HE). Such groups can include (but are not limited to) students:
- Who attended a school which traditionally sends a low proportion of pupils directly to university
- Living in the 40% most disadvantaged neighbourhoods, as identified by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)
- Who have spent time in local authority care
- Who are returning to education later in life (mature students)
- Who are estranged from their families (studying without family support)
- Who have caring responsibilities
Research and various studies suggest that individuals who fall into one or more of the above categories are statistically less likely to attend university. The University of Strathclyde works directly with groups of prospective students in schools, colleges and other settings to address this disparity. We aim to support students from the above groups and help them realise their full potential. We are also active in a number of other initiatives such as the Children's University and FOCUS West - for information on these and more, see our Getting Ready section.
The University is also deeply committed to Widening Access outreach work, and public and community engagement, delivering transformation impact to our local, national and global communities. You can read more about some of the activities which we offer at stages throughout the learner journey in our compendium:
Our team consists of:
Dr. Stephanie Mckendry, Head of Access, Equality and Inclusion
Stephanie leads the Access, Equality and Inclusion Service and works with staff across the University and sector to drive the equality, inclusion and widening access agenda forward and support the University's commitment to attracting and retaining students from the widest range of backgrounds.
Amanda is the FOCUS West Programme Officer for Strathclyde with overall responsibility for S3 and S4 elements and delivery of College Campus Day events. She is responsible for Project Mentors and leads activities involving current students in our widening access activities.
Al Blackshaw, Senior Widening Access Support Officer
Al liaises with staff across the University on a number of matters related to widening access, and is the lead contact for many widening access areas including student support, financial assistance, accommodation, and UCAS guidance. Al also has responsibility for support and enhancement activities for widening access students.
Adrienne Coyne, Widening Access Outreach Officer
Adrienne organises FOCUS West delivering programmes for pupils with a particular focus on delivering S2 and S3 events through a combination of outreach delivery and Campus Day events facilitated by mentors.
Angie Kay, Widening Access Outreach Officer
Angie runs the S4 FOCUS West Focus on Four programme and delivers S2 events in-school. She is responsible for the Study Skills programme, as well as the Strathclyde Summer Experience for care-experienced young people. Angie also assists with student involvement in widening access activities.
Louise Martin, Senior Widening Access Support Officer
Louise focuses on support for current students from widening access backgrounds, particularly those who have spent time in care. She is also our Named Officer for Student Carers, providing support, guidance and advocacy for our students with caring responsibilities and for those estranged from their families.
Louise is the administrator for the team's work, particularly outreach activities including the FOCUS West and Accelerate programmes.
Iain Mitchell, Senior Widening Access Outreach Officer
Iain leads the Accelerate programme of summer activities and has overall responsibility for student involvement in access activities. He also runs the S3 FOCUS West University Campus Day progamme and has responsibility for the team's outreach work with looked after children.
- Student Experience & Enhancement Services
- Print Services
- Estates Services
- Finance Directorate
- Human Resources Directorate
- Research & Knowledge Exchange Services