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BY Lucy Bannister | Monday 14 March 2022

The Freedom Centre in East Hull will become the new venue for a learning centre, opening the door to university for more young people

The prospect of studying at university will become much more likely for thousands of young people in Hull, thanks to the opening of a new education centre in the city this autumn.

A new partnership between the University of Hull, the University of York and IntoUniversity, the UK’s largest university-access charity, has been announced and will see The Freedom Centre in East Hull become the new venue for a learning centre for students aged 7-18, predominantly serving the Southcoates and Marfleet areas.

East Hull has the fifth largest percentage of postcodes in England where young people are least likely to progress to university.

The centre will work closely with local schools and with the Universities of Hull and York to improve outcomes for these young people. It will also add to existing services provided by The Freedom Community Trust, working alongside other organisations serving the community in East Hull, including Child Dynamix, Hull Community Transport and EMS.

Dr Hugh Rayment-Pickard, Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder of IntoUniversity, said: “We're delighted to be partnering with the Universities of Hull and York to open an IntoUniversity centre in East Hull next autumn.

“We are looking forward to building partnerships with schools and families in the local community to support students to achieve their ambitions.”

The £1.3m of funding for the centre has been provided by philanthropic supporters.

Four full-time members of staff are being recruited to deliver after-school Academic Support sessions to Primary and Secondary school children, aspiration-building workshops in partnership with local schools and a mentoring programme with current university students and professionals. The centre will be IntoUniversity’s first centre in Hull.

Students will be able to access the centre for Academic Support after school Monday to Thursday during term time, and workshops with partner schools will run during the daytime throughout the week, with all daytime and evening sessions being run in compliance with current Covid-19 guidelines.

In 2020-21, IntoUniversity supported more than 40,000 students across 32 centres in 18 towns and cities across England and Scotland. 66% of students who attend IntoUniversity centres go on to progress to university, compared with 26.6% of students from similar backgrounds nationally.

Once established, the centre will benefit over 1,000 students a year.

IntoUniversity centres are based in the heart of local communities and support young people from 7 to 18, working closely with schools and families to sow the seeds of aspiration at a young age.

Professor Susan Lea, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, said: “The University of Hull has inclusivity at its heart and this is reflected in the diversity of our student body and our range of partnership work to promote access and success in our local communities.

“Living by our University motto Lampada Ferens, which translates as carrying the light of learning, we’ve been inspiring futures, broadening horizons and pushing boundaries for over 90 years.

“We are delighted to add to this work through our partnership with IntoUniversity, the University of York and our donors and supporters to deliver further quality outreach that will inspire and encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Hull to take a positive step into higher education.”

Charlie Jeffery, Vice-Chancellor at the University of York said: “Our founders set up the University of York for public good and to care, more than almost anything else, about ensuring access to a university education for those who had previously not had the opportunity.

“This partnership is built on this shared belief in the power of education to transform young people’s lives. We are extremely grateful to our benefactors, staff and students for their support in helping provide these opportunities for young people in Hull.”

For more information please email or call 07484 534322