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Collaborative Outreach Projects

We have a number of outreach projects run by Linking London's HEI and college partners that have been funded by their formula funding associated with the NNCO. These projects are collaborative in their nature and are designed to:

  • help enhance and improve the advice available to advisers and learners about progression to and through Higher Education
  • and assist with targeting learners and outreach activities through informed research

Being part of this network will enable you to find out more about these activities and in many cases get involved, as well as benefit from the dissemination of the data findings.

Below you can find a summary of these projects.  if you would like to find out more please contact 

Reaching East and Reaching London

  • Background of project 

  • Continuum: the centre for widening participation policy studies, based at the University of East London, along with UCL, and Greenwich University is conducting two research projects to support our collaborative network. These projects – Reaching East and Reaching London will provide an in depth understanding of the delivery and impact of outreach work in London, and the East of London area, through a mapping exercise. The mapping will highlight FECs and 6th Forms, but will also consider all types of secondary educational institution. Then, they will build on this phase of the research to conduct a gaps and needs analysis so that outreach activities (ultimately) can be better tailored to the individual circumstances of colleges, schools and learners in London. 

  • Overview and project focus 

  • The area of East London and eastward of London contain some of the lowest youth participation rates into HE in the country, according to POLAR data. As such, it is imperative to understand the patterns of outreach activity, and provide a greater understanding of how this may (or may not) affect patterns of participation. Additionally Continuum will be concentrating on the areas of low participation to the far West of London. The research aims and research questions have been developed with the intention of contributing to the important work of the NNCOs and SPoCs. These are to develop a collaborative approach to outreach delivery in London; to assist with a co-ordinated approach to the delivery of outreach activity; facilitate the provision of accurate information to the sector about outreach activity and its potential impacts to the progression into HE in London. 

  • Mapping work 

  • The first year of activity involves an extensive mapping project to map the type and frequency of outreach activity paying particular attention to low participation areas. This involves a survey to all schools and colleges, and data gathering from HEIs and FECs. Once data is collected Continuum will then examine this activity for patterns which may contribute to rates of participation in a local (borough level) area, including the use of datasets such as HESA data. In the second year of activity for the Reaching East project, Continuum will then conduct a gap analysis to identify “cold spots” where outreach activities are not provided, and a needs analysis to identify where outreach work could potentially be of benefit. The reports, recommendations and toolkit coming from the research will help colleges, schools and other providers deliver more tailored, effective, or simply more outreach activity to benefit learners in East London. 

  • Dissemination of data 

  • Continuum will deliver four seminar workshops to provide a space where stakeholders can come together to collaborate and act as a “matchmaking service” to further facilitate the provision of outreach activity. These seminar workshops will also be of use for teachers, head teachers and other stakeholder staff members’ CPD. 

  • Find out more 

  • For more information about the programme of research, please contact

Numeracy Skills

  • This is a pilot project with Uxbridge College and Kingston University. Kingston University student ambassadors and academic staff will be supporting BTEC engineering students at Uxbridge college by providing numeracy skill support to help make successful transition to HE.

Strengths - Character Education

  • This project is designed to pilot a model of strengths based education and its efficacy for developing character traits associated with academic and vocational success. Groups will be targeted where HE participation is low and career aspirations appear limited.

Progression of College Students in London to Higher education, 2007-2012 - data report

  • This report presents the findings of research undertaken for Linking London and co-sponsors into the progression to higher education of students from London Further Education (FE) and Sixth Form Colleges between 2007-08 and 2012-13. The report is based on data derived from a national study funded by BIS into the progression to higher education of students from all FE and Sixth Form Colleges in England (Smith, Joslin, & Jameson, 2015). Linking London is planning a dissemination event in the autumn term to highlight the findings of this report. More details to follow soon.

Admission work on changing qualifications

  • This project will work with the three practitioner groups (BTEC, Access to HE and TechBac) that Linking London already have established to help support admissions staff in keeping up to date with the latest changes in vocational qualifications at level 3. It will develop materials and staff training to help move towards a transparent system of admissions across the partnership.

Adult Personal Development Planning (PDP)

  • Greenwich University are leading on this project and have created a resource called GetAHead. This on-line resource can be embedded on partners websites and is aimed at adults in the workplace who are interested in studying at higher level. A range of resources have been developed to support potential learners to enable self-reflection, explore a range of higher level study modes and make informed decisions and successful applications.

Year 5 - 9 Collaborative Outreach

  • The year 5 - 9 project aims to bring together pupils in their last two Primary years with those in their first three Secondary years, through shared activities, which illustrate the richness and variety of higher education offered in FE and universities. This project is led by Westminster University and builds on existing work they have been doing in this area.