About Us

Shaping Futures, (also known as the Merseyside Collaborative Outreach Programme) is a new outreach programme for the Liverpool City Region formed by 12 local Higher Education (HE) providers and led by the University of Liverpool. The full list of HE/FE providers which form Shaping Futures is:

Shaping Futures will deliver a programme of activities designed to raise aspirations and provide impartial HE information, advice and guidance to local 14-18 year old learners, to support them in fulfilling their educational potential. These activities will be wide ranging, aiming to increase understanding and aspiration of choices at both KS4, post-16 and HE level, broaden knowledge of sectors and opportunities available and offer support with the entire university application process; from attending Open Days, to choosing a university and completing a UCAS application.

Alongside our core programme of activities we also run a number of bespoke projects, focused on the key aims of the project and skills areas specific to the Liverpool City Region. You can find out more about these on our Activities page.

We are part of the wider National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP), and are funded by the Office for Student (OfS). Nationally, the NCOP project has three key aims:

  • Double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE by 2020
  • Increase by 20% the number of students from ethnic minority groups progressing to HE
  • Address the under-representation of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE

Locally, Shaping Futures has been targeted by OfS to work with 14-18 year old learners (School Years 9-13) from 22 ‘gap’ wards across the Liverpool City Region. In these gap wards, progression to HE is lower than should be the case based on historic attainment levels.

We have converted these ‘gap’ wards into a list of priority schools which our projects and activities will focus on – you can check your schools eligibility using the postcode checker on our homepage. However, alongside working with schools we will also work with a wide range of community groups, alternative education provisions and various other providers and practitioners.