FutureMe Campaign Launched to Support Young People Considering Higher Education

East Durham College is committed to giving all of our students the best opportunity to move on to higher education after college - that's why we're delighted to announce we will be working with the North East Collaborative Outreach Programme (NECOP) as they launch their FutureMe campaign.

The new campaign is designed to give students the information and support they need to move on to higher education, with the aim of making a rapid improvement on the number of young people considering continuing their education after college.

Despite positive changes in recent years, the North East still has one of the lowest higher education progression rates in the country for 18 year olds. In 2016, studies found that young people in the North East were 38% less likely to enter higher education than those living in London. 

The FutureMe programme, which is being led by Newcastle University and collaborating with East Durham College and all other colleges and universities in the region, will deliver a targeted programme of activity and support for young people. The programme will represent all higher education options available in the North East, ensuring that young people can make informed decisions about their future. Young people will get access to a wide variety of support and advice, including:

  • Online peer-to-peer tutoring to support attainment raising
  • Mentoring by undergraduate students to raise aspirations and help young people understand what higher education is really like
  • Self confidence workshops and career advice clinics

Lucy Backhurst, Newcastle University’s Head of Student Recruitment and Admissions and Chair of NECOP, said: “Newcastle is delighted to be leading this exciting, innovative programme. It is driven by a strong, and dynamic partnership of universities, FE Colleges and schools, with the aim of signposting and supporting young people to achieve their goals. This is a brilliant opportunity to transform young people’s lives in the North East.”    

NECOP is part of the Higher Education Council for England’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme and is one of 29 consortia working on the shared aim of increasing higher education progression rates for young people from under-represented groups. Of the 29 consortia across England NECOP is one of the largest consortia both in terms of funding and reach with a grant of £7.7million to work across 92 target wards. These wards are areas identified as having low progression to higher education both overall and lower progression than would be expected given GCSE attainment levels. The young people residing in these wards are supported by all of our regional colleges and 108 schools across the region, and this is where NECOP work will be focused.

The 18 Further Education Colleges and Sixth Form Colleges working on NECOP have plans in place to work intensively with over 3000 young people before the end of December 2018. Alongside this, a team of staff based across the five universities in the region will aim to work with almost 4000 young people on regular basis by delivering a programme of intensive support in schools. Many more students will also be supported through individual events, talks and sessions.  

As well as working to engage young people NECOP also has plans in place to support higher education progression in the North East by:

  • Developing support for teachers and advisers in relation to higher education options
  • Working with local communities to address issues to specific to them
  • Carrying out a research project to investigate the barriers North East students face in relation to higher education.

As well as working with young people directly in schools and colleges, the www.futureme.ac.uk website has also been launched to help young people and their parents and carers to learn more about the higher education options available to them.