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The Widening Access Team

Widening Access addresses the recruitment, retention and progression of students from a wide variety of non-traditional backgrounds. These include people from ethnic minority groups, from disadvantaged communities, people with disabilities and those from families with no previous experience of higher education. The Widening Access Team provides a co-ordinating and supporting role to a range of initiatives throughout the University, with staff based at both the Cathays Park and Heath Park campus.

Reaching Wider — First Campus

Cardiff University is a major contributor to the First Campus Scheme in which all higher and further education institutions in South-East Wales work collaboratively with local schools to develop an integrated programme of events that raise educational aspirations and improve awareness of higher education amongst 11 to 16 year olds.

Events take place in all higher education institutions and provide a glimpse of life at university. For many of the pupils and their families, First Campus events will be their first visit to a higher education institution. Events range from one-off day events to year-long projects. They aim to be relaxed and informative and to provide insight into subjects studied at university and careers expectations for graduates.

Reaching Wider — National Mentoring Scheme

The Widening Access Team co-ordinates and supports student mentors who provide one-to-one mentoring to school pupils and helps to overcome disaffection and under-achievement at school. The mentors visit the pupils in schools to provide support and advice on study skills and act as role-models and ambassadors for higher education. The scheme is supported by a number of events involving teachers, parents and families of the mentees. For information contact the University Project Co-ordinator: Annie Mitchell tel: 02920 870012, email:

Widening Access Schools Programme

Members of the Widening Access team work with academic staff and current students to develop a programme of activities aimed at pupils, their families and teachers in secondary schools where there is not a strong tradition of progression into higher education. These activities include the 3-year Step-Up to Health and the Step-Up to Maths and Science schemes, the Languagezone project, a variety of subject specific events and summer schools plus introductory visits for Year 7 pupils. Detailed Information about these activities can be found within the Community and Collaboration pages.