The University of Brighton Compact offers staff, students and their parents throughout Sussex and the wider south-east practical and impartial help and advice on progression to all forms of higher education.
The University of Brighton Compact has been running less than a year and Carl Griffiths, the university's Compact Liaison Officer, said "We're delighted to welcome Lewes Old Grammar School as our 50th partner – it is great so many schools and colleges have now partnered with us."
The partnership involves presentations on student funding and finance, students' transition issues and the support students can access at university. Carl said: "We provide impartial information, advice and guidance on making strong applications to higher education, writing personal statements, student life and choosing a university. Our aim is to make the activities and the support we provide meet the needs of our partners."
Professor Stuart Laing, University of Brighton's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (centre right), with Chris Thomson, head of BHASVIC sixth form (centre), and Carl Griffiths, the university's Compact Liaison Officer (top left), with BHASVIC staff and students involved with Compact.
The University of Brighton Compact is just one in a range of collaborations the university has.
Brighton's Initial Teacher Training Programme is the largest in the region and places more than 2,500 students in over 450 schools and colleges, while School Direct, open to high-quality graduates, enables primary and secondary schools to recruit their own trainees.
The university is a partner to further education colleges in the region and validates their university-level provision. It offers bursaries to help young people from low-income backgrounds to study at the university, and its Widening Participation programme includes collaboration between schools and colleges to support lifelong learning and to maximise the contribution of learning to local regeneration.
The university is lead sponsor of academies in Hastings, and it is co-sponsor of an academy in Broadwater, Worthing.
Another collaboration is Active Student, which provides volunteering placements in the community and puts Brighton student volunteers in local schools to engage with young people in orienteering, swimming, gymnastics, dance and team games – and even masterchef events.
And the university has invited schools and colleges to assist with the university's project to build the UK's first Waste House, made almost entirely of thrown-away material.
The University of Brighton Compact is delivered through workshops and activities which are tailored to the timetables and requirements of individual schools and colleges and their students.
An enhanced package of support, the Compact Plus Programme, gives students priority access to lectures and workshops, summer schools, student shadowing and more.
Student members of the Plus Programme who go on to study at the University of Brighton may also be eligible for a Compact Plus bursary and opportunities to work part-time for the university.
Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) has been a partner for 18 months. Lyne Trower, the college's Careers Co-ordinator, said: "Our relationship with the University of Brighton's Compact staff and student ambassadors has become an increasingly important part of our information, advice and guidance offer to students.
"They have worked with us to deliver tailored activities which not only meet the needs of our students but also work within the structures of our organisation."
Jo Brydie, BHASVIC's Student Services Manager, said: "Having observed the university student ambassadors at work we are confident that our students are being provided with high quality and impartial information which will help them make informed decisions about the progression routes available to them when they leave BHASVIC.
"The Compact scheme has raised the motivation and aspirations of many of our less-advantaged students whilst also broadening their academic knowledge and experience … and the Compact staff are an absolute pleasure to work with."
The University is planning a launch event for Compact partners from pre-16 schools including primary schools in March.
Professor Stuart Laing, the university's Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: "Working closely with schools and colleges is part of the university's ethos to support students and especially those who are from backgrounds currently under-represented in UK universities. The Compact programme is growing from strength-to-strength and this is in no small part due to the hard work and dedication of university staff, ambassadors and our colleagues in schools and colleges."
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.brighton.ac.uk/compact.