Plenty of work ongoing to increase number of boys going to university

The University of East Anglia. Photo: UEA

The University of East Anglia. Photo: UEA - Credit: Archant

After a reader letter questioned whether enough was being done to encourage boys into university, Claire Petley, head of outreach at the University of East Anglia shared more on their outreach work.

At UEA, we are committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to succeed and achieve their goals. Unfortunately, the low proportion of men attending university, compared to women is a national issue, but one we are keen to address.

We're really pleased to be part of the 20pc of universities in the UK whose Outreach Team is actively working with young disadvantaged males to raise their attainment. We're already known nationally for our flagship Sports for Boys programme which brings boys onto campus to try new sports and experience university life, which has been running for nine years.

In July this year we are set to launch our dedicated He Can, We Can programme, aimed at addressing the disparity between boys and girls in education.

The programme aims to engage male students, raising their aspirations, confidence, and attainment, to help them progress to higher education.

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Students will be exposed to a range of positive role models, while reinforcing the message that university is accessible to everyone, regardless of their background. Our programme includes mentoring from industry professionals, taster days at the UEA campus and subject specific activities aimed at encouraging more men into the health sector.

We will also be hosting an annual He Can We Can conference for teachers and education professionals, working to identify the barriers young males face and how we can address these, while sharing best practice.

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We have already started to see the results of our ongoing outreach work, with the proportion of male students at UEA on the rise since 2014/15.

Our work doesn't end once this group have successfully gained a place at UEA and we offer support and guidance to help them to succeed in their studies.

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