About Us

About Us

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Meet The Team

Our Impact

Case Studies

Funded by the Office for Students (OfS), the Uni Connect Programme aims to boost higher education (HE) participation rates in the most disadvantaged areas in England. The Uni Connect Programme consists of 29 partnerships of universities, colleges and other local partners across England (available on the OfS website).

The role of each consortia is to deliver targeted outreach to young people in years 10 to 13 as well as provide support and signposting to schools, colleges and the wider community.

Uni Connect Programme Aims:

  1. Contribute to reducing the gap in higher education participation between the most and least represented groups.
  2. Equip young people from underrepresented groups to make an informed choice about their options in relation to the full range of routes into and through higher education and to minimise the barriers they may face when choosing the option that will unlock their potential, including barriers relating to academic attainment.
  3. Support a strategic local infrastructure of universities, colleges and other partners that can cut through competitive barriers, offer an efficient and low-burden route for schools and colleges to engage with higher education outreach, enable schools to engage with attainment-raising activity, and address outreach ‘cold spots’ for underrepresented groups.
  4. Contribute to a stronger evidence base around ‘what works’ in higher education outreach and strengthen evaluation practice across the sector.

Shaping Futures is the Merseyside partnership and has adopted an information and guidance model of service delivery, providing impartial higher education-related activities and progression advice to target learners in our priority secondary schools and across partner further education/sixth form colleges. The activities delivered aim to increase understanding and aspiration of choices at KS3, KS4, post-16 and HE level. Additionally, the aim is to broaden knowledge of higher education industry sectors and related opportunities available whilst offering support with the Higher Education application process. Shaping Futures also operates a HE outreach hub – offering a signposting service to all secondary schools and colleges in the Liverpool city region.

Progression Framework

The Shaping Futures progression framework was created based on the understanding that sustained, progressive engagement is the most effective way to deliver higher education outreach and support students.  This framework provides structure for activity design and planning by the Shaping Futures team and partners. It provides an outline of the intended outcomes of activities delivered by Shaping Futures. 

Our Partners

Shaping Futures, (also known as the Merseyside Collaborative Outreach Programme) is an 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: