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Birkbeck and UEL shortlisted for THE Award

Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) service nominated for widening participation initiative award

Birkbeck and the University of East London (UEL) have been jointly shortlisted for a 2015 Times Higher Education (THE) Award in recognition of the advice service they offer prospective students.

The institutions have been shortlisted under the category ‘Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year’ after impressing judges with the quality of their Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) service.

The IAG service, which was rolled out in September 2013, is run by UEL’s Education and Community Partnerships department in collaboration with Birkbeck, who share UEL’s University Square Stratford (USS) building in east London.

Based at the entrance of the USS building, the IAG team provides one-to-one advice, taster sessions and preparatory courses for people interested in studying for a university degree, including mature students, those without formal educational qualifications and people in need of support with issues such as financial hardship or disability.

Garmon ap Garth, outreach and widening participation officer for Birkbeck, said: “Ensuring that prospective students apply for the right course is a vital step for their success. The IAG team support prospective students to make the right choice.

“The partnership with UEL has enabled us to offer a comprehensive IAG service which would not have been possible working alone. The service demonstrates our commitment to ensuring mature students and supporting them from the beginning of their study. We’re delighted that the achievements of the team have been recognised through being shortlisted for the award”.

Gail May, head of education and community partnerships at UEL, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this award. The small team delivering the Information, Advice and Guidance service provide outstanding support to widening participation students, particularly mature students, to help make their ambition to progress to university a reality.

“This is a unique collaboration between two institutions and we have worked together over a number of years to develop the foundations from which to offer this holistic and accessible service on behalf of the University of East London and Birkbeck, University of London.”

The annual THE Awards recognises talent, dedication and innovation of individuals and teams across all aspects of university life. Winners for all shortlisted nominees will be announced at the THE Awards 2015 gala dinner and ceremony held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Thursday, November 26.

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