Development & Alumni Relations Office 



ATTRACTING STUDENTS LESS LIKELY TO GO TO UNIVERSITY 

11 April 2017

Queen’s University has introduced a Pathway Opportunity Programme – a structured initiative for Year 13 and 14 students – offering admissions guidance and support to encourage progression to University.

The initiative targets young people who have the potential to study at Queen’s but who are less likely to attend. This may be due to the fact that they are the first person in their family to apply to university or because they are a care leaver.

Part of the University’s commitment to promote equality of opportunity and diversity among its students and staff, the Pathway Opportunity Programme includes a series of workshops and seminars both at the University and online, as well as a summer residential at Queen’s. Through attending classes, meeting lecturers and spending time exploring the campus, students gain a real insight into University life.

Ms Wilma Fee, Director of Academic and Student Affairs said: “Queen’s is committed to embracing a diverse student body that reflects our community. We understand that some students may face additional barriers in accessing university which is why we have developed this initiative, aiming to remove those barriers and support talented students from all backgrounds, giving them the opportunity to pursue a quality education.

“We are delighted to welcome 60 ‘most able, though least likely’ students to this programme, each of whom we hope will feel inspired to continue their education to progress to a Russell Group university.”

Pathway to Opportunities also offers participants a residential assessed summer school in July 2017. And as a further incentive, those who successfully complete the programme will be offered a guaranteed place at the University with up to a two grade reduction. Students may also receive financial support by way of a bursary.

Mrs Martine Mulhern, Principal from St Cecilia’s College where six pupils have successfully applied to the project, said: “The programme has given our pupils the chance to experience student life at Queen’s University as well as a choice about their future career pathways.

"They can now choose to go to Queen’s University Belfast, whereas it may have been only a dream before this programme. It is a wonderful opportunity for our pupils to aspire, endeavour and achieve.” 

To talk to someone about supporting the Pathway Opportunity Programme at Queen's contact Naomi King, +44 (0)28 9097 3101.

Media inquiries to Suzanne Lagan, Communications Officer at Queen's University Belfast, on tel: +44 (0)28 9097 5292.

Caption: Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston (centre) with some of the students on the Pathway Opportuinity Programme.

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