UCL Changemakers


Student Success ChangeMakers fund

UCL staff and students can apply to fund projects to enable the academic success, retention and continuation of underrepresented, UK domiciled, undergraduate students.

Who are the Student Success team? 

Established in March 2022, the Student Success Office was established to focus on initiatives that enable all UCL students to be successful, regardless of their background. 

The team leads on the design, development and implementation of UCL’s strategies to support academic success and close awarding and retention gaps across UCL. Taking an institution-wide approach, the Office delivers initiatives and provides resources for both staff and students across UCL to create cultural and institutional change. The team focuses strongly on evaluation and research and an evidence-led approach is taken to facilitate success for student groups where there are unexplained gaps in degree outcomes.

Who does the team work with? 

Student Success initiatives are funded by UCL’s Access and Participation Plan. The Office currently works to support UK undergraduate students who belong to at least one of the following groups:

UCL Access and Participation Plan identifies three key barriers to student success for these groups. These are their wellbeing, sense of belonging and their teaching and learning experience. These barriers are interconnected and along with existing support services, Student Success aim to tackle these barriers, and hence degree outcome gaps, holistically.

What is the Student Success ChangeMakers fund?

The UCL Student Success team and ChangeMakers are excited to present a transformative initiative dedicated to empowering marginalised and underrepresented students. The UCL Student Success team leads on the design, development, and implementation of UCL’s strategies to support academic success and close awarding and retention gaps across UCL and one factor in achieving our aims is the pressing need for inclusive educational opportunities. The fund is developed in collaboration with the UCL Arena Centre's Inclusive Education Lead.

UK undergraduate students who self-identify from the below groups may bid for up to £5000:

  • The Access UCL cohort
  • Care experienced and estranged students
  • Mature students
  • Disabled students
  • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic students

Projects must be undertaken in partnership with staff. Students may wish to focus their projects on increasing equity for the groups listed above, but please note this is not a requirement.

The Student Success team are pleased to be able to support betwen two and five projects this year!

Our approach centres on the unique strengths, resilience, and untapped potential within marginalised communities. Through this initiative, we aim to proactively address systemic barriers, and provide these student groups with the platform to contribute to real change at UCL.

Successful applications should focus on student-centred projects with measurable outcomes focused on the following aims:

  • Create learning environments that acknowledge, validate, and celebrate our diverse student body. 
  • Create inclusive culture, policies, and operations. 
  • Establish an equitable approach to student support and co-curricular provision. 
  • Encourage varied forms of success that value students’ strengths. 

Projects should be evidence-based and seek to embed material change for the benefit of future students. As well as academic success, retention and continuation, projects should focus on culture change that will increase feelings of belonging for, and amplify voices of, underrepresented students at UCL.

UCL Arena’s work on inclusive education is an important part of this partnership. Guidance on cultivating inclusive staff-student partnerships and tailored support for individual projects will be available.

Suggested activities 

​​​​​​Projects and interventions must be aimed at increasing equity for the following UK-domiciled undergraduate student groups: 

Activities could include:

  • Developing learning and teaching resources
  • Events for students
  • Resources for staff and/or students
  • Hosting a podcast episode(s)

The Student Success Team also runs the Student Success Fund (for staff). Previous projects that have been funded have included: transition support for mature students on the Engineering Foundation Year, a Laws Writing Lab, workshops to explore disability and neurodivergence in the development of alternative assessment, a podcast focussing on students from the Access UCL cohort, and a writing support programme (Writing SHS+) in the SHS faculty.

Contact the Student Sucess team

If you’d like to learn more about the Student Success Team and their work please visit the Student Success website, or email smss.studentsuccess@ucl.ac.uk. If you have general questions about applying for a ChangeMakers project, please contact the ChangeMakers team at changemakers@ucl.ac.uk or check out our FAQs.