For the love of learning

Shaping Futures is a programme of impartial information, advice and guidance activities that 12 local Higher Education providers (a mix of universities and colleges) have designed for delivery together in Liverpool City Region between now and 2020.

The programme (part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme and funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England) aims to help more young people progress into higher education and lay the foundations for them to go on to successful careers.

Like any government funded programme, it has rules and guidance on who we should support and what activities can be delivered. Please visit our Activities section for more information.

Yet, at its heart Shaping Futures is about instilling a love of learning in young people so strong that it makes them aspire to study in Higher Education for typically another 3+ years after they finish school or college.

From our initial work the aspiration to go on to study at a higher level relates to 3 key factors:

  • A young person’s behaviour and progress in school and whether they take part in any after school activities or clubs that allows them to pursue their own interests in a particular subject or via different styles of learning (e.g. hands on or project based learning);
  • What their family and the local community they live in view as realistic, affordable and worthwhile choices for them; and
  • Being able to see a clear route from their current position to what they want to achieve (e.g. How will further study help me get a good job so I can buy more of the things I want and need and enjoy my life in general?).

To address these issues, from September 2017 we will be working with learners from selected schools across Liverpool City Region to help them to:

  • Understand why it is worthwhile to go on to gain higher level skills both for their own benefit and for their wider community (e.g. to ensure we have the skilled NHS staff we need to care for us all when we need it);
  • Impartially inform learners of their higher education choices and future career options (via various progression pathways from full time undergraduate study to Foundation Degrees and Degree Apprenticeships); and
  • Receive mentoring from current or recent higher education students to help build their confidence, give them a first-hand account of student life and even support their attainment with general study skills sessions;

From late 2017 we’ll also be starting to work with interested community organisations to offer impartial information about higher education to parents, guardians and grandparents in a practical, easy to understand, way.

Over the course of the programme we’ll be keeping you updated of our progress and featuring guest bloggers showcasing aspects of our work and broader policy issues relating to widening participation in Higher Education.

Thank you for taking the time to read about this important work.