Linking London | News | 28 January 2021 Event report - Improving Access to HE for White Working-Class Students Event

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Improving Access to HE for White Working-Class Students Event

On the 28th January, Linking London held an event focussing on improving access to HE for white working-class students and exploring some of the key issues and how we begin to address them as a collaborative partnership of colleges and universities.

Attendees first heard from Susie Whigham at The Brilliant Club, who provided aoverview of what they do and discussed what the barriers are and why is it that White Working-class students feel like they don’t have access to university, highlighting some issues such as academic attainment, a lack of strong IAG, lack of role models and cultural capital. Susie then discussed ways in which we can tackle these problems, including ensuring that student ambassadors are representative of target students, early intervention, taking students learning beyond the curriculum. Susie emphasised the importance of place and community and that we need to start where communities are at and work with students and parents to develop initiatives. Susie lastly talked about The Brilliant Club’s approach, giving an overview of their Scholars programme, supporting students to succeed at university and working with communities. Attendees then had a chance to ask any questions. 

We then welcomed student panellists from University of Westminster and UCL to talk about their experiences as white working-class student who have made the transition onto Higher Education. Questions were around the difficulties they found transitioningrole models and top tips to help this group progress. 

After a comfort break, attendees got together in three breakout groups to discuss why are white working-class students less likely to progress on to HEwhat can be done to address these challenges and how we can work collaboratively going forward.  

You can find a detailed summary of the Q&A session and the full write up of the discussion groups along with The Brilliant Club presentation on our Partners’ Area. 

The event closed with thanking everyone for their contributions throughout the afternoon. 

Presentations, recording and discussion notes 

To view the recording, presentations and the notes from the day please click hereThis link will take you to the Linking London SharePoint Partners' Area. You must be a Linking London member to access this section of the website. If you do not have access, please email  



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