The University of Cambridge’s HE Plus programme has just registered its 10,000th participant, the culmination of five years of work with state schools and sixth form colleges across the UK.
Established in 2010, HE Plus encourages and prepares academically high-achieving state school students to make competitive applications to top universities, including Cambridge. The programme sees the University and its Colleges working with groups of state schools and colleges in 14 regions to engage their best students in a sustained year-long programme. This includes academic extension classes, subject masterclasses, university information / application sessions, and visits to Cambridge.
In the 2015-16 academic year, 3,000 Year 12 students in over 80 schools and colleges are participating in the initiative. And since 2010, thousands of HE Plus participants have gone on to study at top universities. To build on the programme’s success, the University has shared a raft of new online learning resources which are freely available to anyone aiming to make a competitive application to university, as well as those seeking to support them.
The website www.myheplus.com currently offers 50 resources covering subjects including English, Modern and Medieval Languages, History and Religious Studies as well as many more. Devised by a diverse team of Cambridge academics drawing on their own cutting-edge research, these resources offer a taste of university–style learning which is designed to stretch and inspire.
Current contributions include an inspiring poetry resource designed by the English Faculty's Dr Fred Parker, which features Seamus Heaney and William Wordsworth. Budding linguists are invited to study Portuguese through the prism of the Favela; French through a nineteenth-century Parisian diary; and Italian by considering the appeal of the Vespa scooter.
The University is committed to widening participation both at Cambridge and in higher education more generally. The collegiate University runs about 4,000 access events each year, leading to around 200,000 interactions with school learners and teachers. For more information, visit www.undergraduate.study.cam.ac.uk