Student stories

Some of our inspirational students talk about the challenges they have faced in accessing higher education, problems they encountered during their degree. Watch their videos to find out how they overcame these obstacles with the support on offer at the university.

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Conference materials

‌Social Mobility Conference – 12 June 2019

‌‌Centre for Social Mobility Conference Agenda 2019

Follow-up information about the conference available here, including videos of some of our inspirational students and advice from some of the workshop presenters on how we can become more involved in improving the access, success and progression of Widening Participation students. 

Conference overview: context, challenges and successes

Anna Mountford-Zimdars, Co-Director for the Centre for Social Mobility, gives an overview of the aims of the Centre, recent projects and future objectives.

Supporting and retaining mature students

Dr Dawn Lees provides advice on supporting mature students through their studies.

Disruptive thinking and social mobility

Dr Lee Elliot-Major shares his thoughts on the challenges facing universities face in terms of social mobility, and how we can improve access to Higher Education for students from all backgrounds.

Building a whole institution approach to widening participation

Nicola Sinclair, Head of Widening Participation and UK Student Recruitment summarises why an understanding of social mobility and widening participation is so important in Higher Education, and how we can create an inclusive learning environment by embedding this understanding in our leadership, policies and academic practice.

Inclusive teaching: context and good practice

Dr Lisa Alberici reflects on how we can improve our own practice as educators to be more inclusive, including the importance of challenging our own assumptions in order to make more inclusive choices for our teaching.

Wellbeing, student retention and success

Mark Sawyer, Head of Wellbeing, provides an overview of the support available for students with disabilities.

Equity-minded practice and success for all

Jeffrey Grim is a visiting scholar at the Centre for Social Mobility and current PhD candidate in Higher Education at the University of Michigan.  He suggests how we can reframe our understanding of students from widening participation backgrounds, harnessing the strengths that they can bring to the institution in order to help them succeed.

Student stories

Some of our inspirational students talk about the challenges they have faced in accessing higher education, problems they encountered during their degree. Watch their videos to find out how they overcame these obstacles with the support on offer at the university.

Sajjad, now a PhD student, came to the University of Exeter as an asylum seeker and faced significant challenges, but received the Sanctuary Scholarship which enabled him to continue with his studies. He encourages students in a similar position to talk to the university and see how they may be able to access additional support.