Sunderland University praised for getting more people into higher education

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WEARSIDE’S university has picked up a top award for getting people into higher education.

The Quality Assurance Agency has chosen The University of Sunderland as the 2013 Access to HE Higher Education Provider of the Year for its groundbreaking initiatives to engage with anyone who wants to go to university, but did not get the qualifications they needed while at school.

Sunderland was awarded for its range of communications methods to engage with applicants through admissions, student recruitment and college partnerships.

Lesley Griffin, the university’s assistant director of student recruitment, said: “This is fantastic news for the university and a credit to all the staff involved.

“We are proud of the support we offer to applicants and students to help them make informed choices, in raising the benefits a degree will give them in life and fulfilling the aspirations of anyone who wants to come to university.

“The Access to HE qualifications are a great way for anyone who wants to take a university level course, but did not gain the qualifications they needed while at school.”

Professor Peter Fidler, vice chancellor at the university, said: “We know from experience the high quality of students that come to us from FE colleges and how well the Access programmes prepare students in taking that next step in gaining a degree. It really is a life-changing experience.”

The award will be presented to the university by QAA chief executive, Anthony McClaren, later this month.