Widening Access at Strathclyde

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What is Widening Access?

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)

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. Our Widening Access Booklet contains more information about some of the Widening Access work undertaken at the University of Strathclyde. 


The Team

The University of Strathclyde is committed to providing access to people from the widest possible range of backgrounds. The Widening Access Team works with schools, colleges and university staff to increase opportunities at the University of Strathclyde for people from widening access backgrounds. We also work directly with applicants and students: to raise aspirations; to provide information, advice and guidance; to prepare prospective students for university-level study; to ensure success and retention on course; and to assist in developing skills that increase employability.

Prospective students are welcome to contact the Widening Access Team to discuss support available or to seek advice and guidance on any matter related to university study. Colleagues working in schools and colleges are also welcome to contact us for information on outreach projects, partnerships, or any other matter.

University of Strathclyde staff who are interested in supporting Widening Access initiatives or who would like to find out more about the team's work are invited to contact us:

Widening Access
The University of Strathclyde
Room GH102
Graham Hills Building
50 George Street
G1 1QE

T: 0141 548 3799
E: wideningaccess@strath.ac.uk

Our team consists of:

Dr. Stephanie Mckendry, Widening Access Manager
Stephanie manages the Widening Access Team and works with staff across the University and sector to drive the widening access agenda forward and support the University's commitment to attracting and retaining students from the widest range of backgrounds.
T: 0141 548 2208
E: stephanie.mckendry@strath.ac.uk

Amanda Baldwin, Acting Manager (Schools and Colleges Outreach)

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 as well as the Accelerate Modern Language Challenge.
T: 0141 548 3775
E: amanda.baldwin@strath.ac.uk

Al Blackshaw, Acting Widening Access Manager (Admissions and Support)
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.
T: 0141 548 3127
E: a.blackshaw@strath.ac.uk

Louise Martin, 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.
T: 0141 548 4050
E: louise.martin.100@strath.ac.uk  

Jan McGhie, Widening Access Outreach Officer
Jan organises the FOCUS West S4 Focus on Four programme and the Strathclyde Summer Experience residential programme for children in care. She also has responsibility for the Accelerate Business Challenge.
T: 0141 548 3795
E: jan.mcghie@strath.ac.uk

Louise Meenan, Widening Access Administrator
Louise is the administrator for the team's work, particularly outreach activities including the FOCUS West and Accelerate programmes.
T: 0141 548 3799
E: louise.meenan@strath.ac.uk

Iain Mitchell, Acting Manager (Widening Access Outreach Programmes)
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 Children in Care.
T: 0141 548 3762
E: i.mitchell@strath.ac.uk