Keele and Stoke on Trent College in progression agreement

Posted on 25 February 2015

Keele University and Stoke on Trent College have joined together in a new initiative to encourage students from non-traditional routes, such as Access, BTEC and other vocational courses, to go on to Higher Education.

The progression agreement has been developed by Keele to support students at the College to make an informed decision about their future and higher education.

Specifically both parties to the agreement will actively seek to:

•    Widen access and raise aspirations to higher education within Stoke on Trent College
•    Increase the numbers of students progressing to, and participating in, Higher Education
•    Provide support and commitment to develop further collaboration between Keele University and Stoke on Trent College
•    Provide a conduit to enable the flow of information available on Higher Education to all prospective students, their parents/carers and advisors
•    Encourage collaboration between University representatives and school/college staff
•    Measure success and celebrate it
•    Support participating students complete their Partnership Goals

Professor Nick Foskett, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University, said: "This progression agreement marks Keele University's continuing commitment to the city of Stoke-on-Trent and the wider region of North Staffordshire. Progression agreements with Further Education colleges are a really helpful way of encouraging bright, highly motivated students from non-traditional routes, such as Access, BTEC and vocational courses, to continue onto university, as they can clearly see where their current studies can take them. We hope through the success of this new partnership we will be able to raise the aspirations of Stoke on Trent College students and take a positive step forward in achieving successful progression to Higher Education for many more local people."

Kevin Smith, Principal of Stoke on Trent College, said: "The progression agreement with Keele University will help ensure students at Stoke on Trent College have the opportunity to study locally, helping home-grown talent and skills remain within the local area. This partnership will also support the aspirations of young people who can now seriously consider such a highly regarded university as Keele as a viable future option, thanks to the support they now offer to those studying at Stoke on Trent College.
Everyone at the College is immensely pleased and feels it is fantastic to be so closely associated to a university that has an excellent national and international reputation.”

Keele will:

•    Guarantee an offer or automatic interview to any Stoke on Trent College student meeting an undergraduate course entry criteria, who applies by 15 January (excluding Medicine, Nursing, Midwifery, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Social Work)
•    Provide all the ‘need to know’ information Stoke on Trent College students and their parents and carers need regarding Higher Education, student life and student finance,  through a programme of activity developed in conjunction with Stoke-on-Trent College
•    Support participants throughout the UCAS application process
•    Make explicit the support arrangements in place at Keele for students who may have particular needs, for example, those with disabilities or care leavers
•    Provide up-to-date information sessions to prospective students’ tutors/advisors
•    Provide a range of opportunities for subject specific events, for instance, Faculty or subject led taster sessions and student ambassadors
•    Nominate a member of staff to act as the Progression Agreement Co-ordinator

Stoke on Trent College will:

•    Promote the guarantee the offer scheme to all level 3 students
•    Display appropriate information about Keele University for the benefit of students, staff and visitors to indicate Keele University’s support for the College
•    Enable students to access impartial advice and guidance (including financial guidance) for progression to higher education.
•    Encourage students to take part in a number of ‘preparation for Higher Education’ activities, for example, attendance at an Open Days, a talk about Higher Education or a taster event
•    Encourage students to attend appropriate Higher Education subject specific events
•    Provide opportunities for Keele staff and/or students to meet with prospective and actual applicants as appropriate
•    Provide written details to the Admissions Manager at Keele of applicants with extenuating circumstances which they feel may affect a student’s academic performance and which they would like Keele University to take into account either at initial offer stage or at confirmation of results as appropriate
•    Nominate a member of staff to act as the Progression Agreement link person.

Keele and Stoke on Trent College have agreed to work together to ensure that participating students meet their Partnerships Goals.