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Cardinal Newman College has a genuine commitment to widening participation of its Higher Education Courses and we regularly monitor our progress against set targets relating to student access, their success and their meaningful progression.
Our city central location, our easily accessible campus, the earn and learn approach to work-based learning course delivery together with careful consideration of course design and a personalised approach to student support and guidance reinforces and reflects our determined efforts to be an attractive option for students from all backgrounds.
In particular, our provision is ideal for and targeted to those people for whom relinquishing paid employment in order to study is not a viable option, mature students who have not studied for some time, those who for a number of reasons wish to gain work experience alongside study rather than paid employment and people who wish to study close to home. Outcomes for our first graduates in 2017 were positive with 100% now in employment or education (DHLE 2018).
Analysis of our student data reflects increasing trends in student enrolments of mature students, ‘anyone over the age of 21 who didn’t go to university after school or college,’ (www.ucas.com) and those from BME groups.
|Year||Mature student numbers||Black and Minority Ethnicity student numbers|
Between 2015 and 2017 four students have withdrawn from their courses, including two BME students and one mature student. Thus it is these two specific groups of students who we identify as our access and participation priority and we commit to taking further action to make improvements.
Strategically we use every opportunity to reflect on our student demographic analysing and adapting our procedures to ensure that our small number of higher education courses continue to meet the needs and aspirations of our local community, maintain their very high quality and provide outstanding outcomes and opportunities for our graduates. The feedback we regularly seek from our students is central to this and in the National Student Survey (2017) there was 100% reported student satisfaction in their HE courses.
We commit to promoting Access through:
We commit to promoting Success and Progression through:
Our ambition is to be a hub of higher education excellence that our immediate local community believe is accessible to them and they want to be part of.
The College has a privileged town centre location, bounded by Avenham and Frenchwood which has the most disadvantaged decile of the Index of Multiple Depreciation 2015, (www.lancashire.giv.uk). In these areas over two-thirds of the population live in social housing or the private rented sector and one-third of the population is from a Black or Minority Ethnic community. Currently, no student has enrolled on our HE courses from an Avenham or Frenchwood address.
We commit to:
We recognise that for many people Higher Education can be daunting, at Cardinal Newman College we have in place a range of support strategies so our students can achieve success and have a positive experience. We continually evaluate the way in which we support our students using essentially student feedback throughout the year. We have a robust student voice cycle to methodically gather student views but also capture feedback informally at all other times. All feedback is analysed during all meetings integral to our quality assurance framework and shared with governors using IRIS Technology and with student groups via the student representatives.
We acknowledge that our HE students have different educational experiences, qualification types and workplace experiences and we invest time in preparing them individually for and supporting them through, their HE courses. We evaluate our course information and guidance materials to ensure they are clear, easily accessible and reflect our HE courses accurately, we are committed to enrolling our students with integrity.
To ensure that students have access to equipment to support their educational success we have invested in a set of HE lap-tops, available to loan from the library. Our library has extended opening hours on our HE day and on other days by arrangement. Our library manager is integral to the HE team and provides extended support with groups and on a 1:1 basis with students with study skills such as referencing and academic research.
Work experience is pivotal to our courses for those students who require help with volunteering placements we have a wealth of experience and contacts. For those seeking paid employment we provide references and offer interview guidance and practice. Our work-based link tutor, a HE teacher who visits students and their mentors in the workplace is valuable to reinforce the work-based nature of our courses.
For other student support needs, we have for them a designated HE administrator who helps students with student loan queries, provides support during the application and enrolment processes and can provide advice on a range of social queries such as housing or welfare.