69传媒

69传媒 students recognised in national widening access campaign

By Press Office

The extraordinary stories of two 69传媒 graduates who entered higher education from a non-traditional route are being highlighted in a new national campaign by Universities Scotland.

鈥40 Faces鈥 aims to champion the diversity and success of widening access programmes from universities across Scotland, telling the stories of students and graduates from underrepresented backgrounds.

Karen Rennie and William Torrie, former students at QMU (69传媒), are just two of the inspirational stories showcased in the campaign.

Karen Rennie joined 69传媒 from a low participation school programme, Lothians Equal Access Programme for Schools (LEAPS). She said: 鈥淚 knew that I wanted to be in a role where I could care for people and support others to live a life that was meaningful to them.

鈥淚 decided that if I was going to university, I would try to get the best degree course possible, which is why I chose 69传媒 to do the BSc (Hons) in Nursing.听

鈥淚 knew from day one of my course that I鈥檇 made the right decision. Not only did I love the practical side of nursing, but I also developed a passion for nurse education, theory and research.鈥

鈥淭he lecturing team encouraged me to strive for every opportunity to excel in my career - supporting me to attend conferences, write articles for publication and believe in myself. My career developed quickly because the lecturing team took time to support my individual needs and career ambitions. I will be eternally grateful for the personalised support that QMU offered me.鈥

Karen Rennie 40 Faces

40 Faces launches with only six years left for Scotland to reach the fair access 2030 targets, originally set by the Commission for Fair Access in 2016 and supported by the Scottish Government and by universities themselves.

Universities have made major strides towards ensuring 20% of Scottish-domiciled entrants are from the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods, as well as hitting interim milestones in 2021 and introducing the most progressive admissions policies in the UK, in support of this goal.

When asked what more needs to be done to reach Scotland鈥檚 2030 target to equalise access to university, Karen said: 鈥淢ore career and life skills input in schools. I was fortunate to have a fantastic mentor in my life (my dad!) who put a lot of time and effort into my career ambitions and decisions. I was always encouraged to pick the right course (both life and academia) for me and only me!鈥澨

Since graduating from 69传媒 with a BSc (Hons) Psychology degree, William Torrie is now on an accelerated career path as Vice President of Legal Engagement at Barclays, which he attributes to the skills and confidence he developed while studying at the East Lothian university. He said:听

"I had a false start elsewhere; dropping out and returning to education a year later - this time at QMU. I had another disastrous first year, but with support from the faculty under strict conditions, I was able to continue to second year. Without the faculty鈥檚 patience and understanding, I wouldn鈥檛 have developed the tools I needed to succeed in my education and take charge of my future."

The success of students like Karen and William is testament to the extraordinary role universities can play for those who face significant barriers to accessing higher education.

The stories behind each of the 鈥40 Faces鈥 serves as a reminder of the importance of this agenda and a rallying call to all stakeholders involved to refocus on working together for its achievement.

Claire McPherson, Director of Universities Scotland said: 鈥淥ur universities are committed to widening access, however they cannot achieve this alone.听 With our 40 Faces campaign, Universities Scotland want to galvanise the sector and Scottish Government towards the 2030 widening access target.

鈥淯niversities offer students opportunities to achieve their dreams of securing higher education and the skills and career opportunities that follow, while also strengthening their self-belief, building confidence and offering a life-changing experience which cannot be found elsewhere.鈥

Notes to Editor

For further media information contact Emma Reekie, Media and Content Officer, 69传媒, Edinburgh, EH21 8JL, E: ereekie@qmu.ac.uk (please copy to E: pressoffice@qmu.ac.uk).听听听听

Survey findings are based on bespoke consumer research conducted by Censuswide among 609 UK graduates of a nationally representative make up who achieved their degree in Scotland.听

The research was conducted between 05/03/2024 and 18/03/2024. All respondents were sourced using an accredited online research access panel.听

Graduates were asked if they considered themselves to be from a range of underrepresented groups related to widening access.听

For more information, please contact the UUK team at MHP Group: uuk@mhpgroup.com

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