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Leicestershire education project presented with Platinum Jubilee award

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A Leicestershire project which helps young people to develop skills in readiness for life at university has been recognised with a special award in celebration of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Pathways is a collaboration between all three of Leicestershire’s universities and two further education (FE) providers which work with schools and pupils aged between 13 and 18 to provide support and resources for students, teachers, parents and carers to find out more about higher education (HE) and future careers.

Experts from Leicester, Loughborough and De Montfort universities and their counterparts at both Leicester and Loughborough Colleges have engaged with more than 20,000 young people in Leicestershire and Rutland since 2017.

It is one of 29 such partnerships nationally working to support young people to make informed choices about their future options. Almost two-thirds of the students engaged by the Leicestershire collaboration come from backgrounds traditionally under-represented at UK universities.

Now, the Leicestershire Pathways partnership has been presented with a Community and Business Award in celebration of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur.

The award recognises the Pathways project’s contribution to the communities of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and in particular the virtual support offered to young people and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mike Kapur, Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire and the Queen’s representative in the region, said:

“I would like to congratulate all the award winners and nominees. In recent times, we have experienced unprecedented and extraordinarily difficult times and yet throughout, it has been wonderful to see schools, businesses, volunteer and community groups across the city and county have remained unwavering in their commitment to making a big difference in their local communities.

“I’m delighted to shine a spotlight on the outstanding work that takes place and would like to thank everyone who took the time to make a nomination.”

Professor Rachel Thomson, Chair of the Pathways Steering Board, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience) at Loughborough University, said:

“It is an absolute privilege to be involved in this project. The Pathways team are amazing and unwavering in their dedication to support young people across the region. We deliver a range of activities and interventions to schools across the county.

“For me, the most inspiring and rewarding part is to see the impact on young people from the one to one mentoring support that our fabulous team have been able to provide.”

Jess Bogic, Pathways project manager jointly funded by the project partners and based at the University of Leicester, added:

“The team have truly deserve this award, the team have worked tirelessly to continue to support the young people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. I am incredibly proud to lead the team and continue our impactful work across the county.

“It’s amazing to be part of a programme which is supporting so many learners through their educational journey.”

Safiyya Khan, Pathways Project Co ordinator and Lecturer in Business & Tourism at Leicester College added:

“This is fantastic recognition of the hard work of all of the partners involved in the Pathways project in supporting young people across Leicestershire. At Leicester College, we have had a really positive year with Pathways and have had the opportunity for students to engage in events including Game jam, Easter Science club and summer sports club sessions, masterclasses such as Esports and core interpersonal skills workshops such as ‘confidence building, productivity and positive mindset sessions’.

“The Pathways project has also delivered an introduction to HE sessions, plus sessions on how to apply, finance, UCAS and preparing for University. We have had positive feedback from tutors and are planning on having more of these sessions next year with more curriculum areas.”

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