CELEBRATIONS have been held after University of Worcester won a national award for its efforts to drive social mobility through educational opportunities for children.
It triumphed in the Levelling Up Universities Awards 2022, winning the award for Strong Foundations in Early Years – the Levelling Up Goal 1. The Awards, run by the Purpose Coalition, recognise those higher education institutions and their staff that are committed to boosting opportunity, improving social mobility and being truly purpose-led.
The awards ceremony cited how the University had given young children the opportunity to participate in events and provided study opportunities at The Hive.
It also cited the University’s long-running Storytelling Festival for Children on campus which brings together local schoolchildren with authors, poets and storytellers for inspirational workshops.
The virtual ceremony was hosted by former Cabinet minister Justine Greening, who co-founded the Social Mobility Pledge to bring organisations together to improve social mobility.
She has since launched the Levelling Up Goals, goals which provide a framework to focus efforts on driving equality of opportunity at key life stages, from early years through to careers.
This comes just days after Ms Greening formally launched the University of Worcester’s new Levelling Up report during a visit to the city.
“The higher education institutions recognised in the Levelling Up Universities Awards 2022 are spreading opportunity to people and places where it can make the biggest difference and breaking the cycle of Britain’s endemic poor social mobility,” she said.
“With the current debate around policy changes in higher education, now is a perfect time to celebrate the work of our universities in providing those crucial opportunities to both learn and develop for young people of all backgrounds. It is important we also celebrate universities as anchor institutions and employers in the communities, regions and wider country they serve.
“I’d like to say a huge congratulations to all our winners and thank them for leading the way on levelling up.”
Professor David Green CBE, DL Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Worcester, said: “For many years, we have been committed to driving forward inclusion and equal opportunities for all to learn and succeed to the best of their ability, whether in the student or wider public setting.
“This is exemplified in The Hive, which is 10 years old this month and is a testament to the value of inclusion and learning opportunities for all.
“We are proud to see the University’s efforts leading the way in this area being recognised, particularly our work inspiring young people with a love of learning.”
Worcester has been the top University in the UK for fair gender pay for all five years since the UK Gender Pay Gap reporting was launched.