Mr Al Blackshaw

Widening Access Mngr (Outreach & P'Ship)

Widening Access

Personal statement

Supporting our Widening Access Students

I have worked at Strathclyde since February 2013, when the central Widening Access team was first established. I work with staff across the University to offer advice and guidance on Widening Access issues, and I also monitor our Widening Access students to make sure that they are progressing through their studies ok and that they are aware of all the support opportunities available to them. I offer CPD sessions for secondary school staff on matters related to UCAS, and I host sessions at our Open Days to help make sure our visitors know which questions to ask and who to ask them to! I am also on the UK Committee of HELOA, serving as Digital Development Manager (2015-2018) and Finance Manager (2018-present)

My Background

I have been active in the field of Widening Access since 2005. Whilst completing my MA (Hons) in Japanese at the University of Edinburgh, I worked part-time for the University as a Student Ambassador and participated in a number of their outreach activities. At the same time I worked as a Residents’ Assistant in Student Accommodation, helping hundreds of new students in their transition from home to university life. During my year abroad at Dōshisha University in Kyoto I taught English to elementary school children and university students.

Since graduating, I have also worked within Admissions at Queen Margaret University in Musselburgh, deciding which applicants to offer places to. After that I took up a post at the University of Edinburgh, leading the Scottish Funding Council funded Reach project.As well as managing that project, I designed and delivered Japanese language outreach activities for primary and high school pupils, and helped coordinate an annual residential summer school at the University. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and I am also currently studying towards the MSc in Learning and Teaching here at Strathclyde.


Widening Access
Learning and Teaching Building

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