UCL working to inspire pupils in Newham

9 May 2014

UCL has been engaging with schools in Newham, with the aim of inspiring pupils from the borough to consider higher education as a viable option, and applications to UCL from students living in Newham have risen by 31% in the past year.

Newham pupils in the lab

At the heart of UCL's engagement programme is Inspire Newham, which has been running since 2012. It is a long-term engagement project working with high-potential young people in Newham schools. All participants are from families with no history of higher education.

50 pupils join the scheme each year from five different Newham schools. The pupils attend academic sessions at UCL and meet with students. They also work towards a final presentation and learn debating and presentation skills.

At the end of the first year, there is a celebration event held at UCL for all participants, and parents are also invited to share their children’s achievements and watch the pupils give presentations. For some, it is the first time they have entered a university.

Over the next three years of the scheme, the pupils continue to return for lectures, research and workshops, with the Year 11 programme focusing on practical career guidance and A-level support. 

Our work with schools in Newham is part of the work we do at UCL to encourage widening participation from students and young people from under-represented groups.

Katy Redfern (UCL Head of Access)

Katy Redfern, UCL’s Head of Access, explained: "Our work with schools in Newham is part of the work we do at UCL to encourage widening participation from students and young people from under-represented groups. In the past 12 months we have worked with over 600 pupils in 15 Newham schools and colleges."

UCL Museums & Collections also organises visits to primary schools in Newham. Workshops are run by experienced museum teachers, all of whom are UCL graduates or current postgraduate students. They use objects from UCL's collections to help teach topics related to the National Curriculum.

Tonya Nelson, Head of UCL Museums & Collections, said: “This is just one of the ways that UCL uses our collections imaginatively to engage with the local community. The aim of these workshops is to give local children an introduction to universities and generate excitement about studying the world around them.”

Links