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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Student news

Levelling Up Launches

(26 March 2021)

A new programme has launched at Durham University, aiming to open up access to STEM subjects for students across our region and beyond.

‘Levelling Up’ aims to encourage and support students who are traditionally underrepresented in areas such as Chemistry, Maths and Physics, to apply to study at a top tier University in the future. They will be supported with academic tutoring and mentoring, working with undergradautes and staff from across the Faculty of Science, as they prepare for their A Levels and will gain an insight into how studying STEM subjects could benefit them in their later career.

Led by Professor Jacquie Robson, Director of Undergraduate Studies, the programme complements a range of other access programmes run by the University to encourage and inspire students from the region and from a wide range of backgrounds to consider Higher Education and support them to achieve their goals.

‘Levelling Up’ has been funded by a generous donation from Dr Tony Hill who was formerly a teacher in the North East in the 1970s, before pursuing a career in the software industry. He went on to become Chief Executive Officer of Micro Focus, leading the company to a successful float on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.

Since retiring, he has devoted much of his time to philanthropic projects, focusing on science outreach and widening participation in higher education.

He said: “I am delighted to be working with Durham University’s Faculty of Science. They share my ambition to give all young people, regardless of their background, the opportunity to realise their potential.”

The programme launched this month with the first cohort of over 100 Year 12 students preparing for a range of guest lectures, small group tuition and mentoring. All eligible students who complete the programme will be guaranteed an offer to study at Durham.