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Outreach and widening participation

Widening Participation students in an academic session hosted by the University of Warwick
We offer:
  • Taster sessions for school students
  • On campus or in school activities
  • Programmes in partnership with Sutton Trust

Education for the twenty-first century

"We find ourselves in an increasingly divided society. Divided by politics, by class, by geography. Social mobility, the potential for those to achieve success regardless of background, remains worryingly low. The British education system is partly responsible for his divide, but it also has the potential to rectify it. Giving all young people from all backgrounds access to knowledge and skills needed to succeed in life is key to bridging the gap."

Sutton Trust and Social Mobility Commission (2009)

We believe that a liberal education is able to address issues of equity. It empowers students to respond critically to "big questions" that resist simple solutions and drive change. At the same time, it relies on diversity: of people, of ideas, of approaches. Different minds and backgrounds can offer a rich variety of perspectives on a problem, which can be explored and interrogated collectively.

We are therefore keen to work with schools and teachers to introduce children of all ages to Problem-Based Learning and interdisciplinary studies. A Liberal Arts taster session stimulates creative and critical thinking by asking school students to explore big questions from a range of viewpoints, from the practical to the abstract, from the local to the global.


Our activities

We work with the University's Widening Participation Team to deliver a range of interactive sessions for school students of different age groups on campus. These sessions aim to give a sample of University life, and an introduction to Problem-Based Learning and interdisciplinary studies. Recent sessions have been on sustainable futures, the politics of sport, exploring utopias and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

We deliver programmes in partnership with the Sutton Trust Summer School scheme; see, for example: our 2019 collaboration with Politics and Sociology on the theme of the Colonial Hangover.

We also offer taster sessions for primary and secondary school students, either on the University campus or at your school. Sessions are adapted according to student experience and level. Our staff has expertise in a wide range of topics, and current taster sessions that we offer include:

Mysterious, zombie-like figures walking through woods

Zombies, artificial intelligence and the apocalypse

Athletics track

Politics of sport

Vegetables, specifically red and yellow peppers, with a hand reaching for one

Consumption and consumerism

Different coloured paint strokes on a canvas

Art and revolution

Man singing with stage lighting in background

Music, culture and censorship

Illustrated map from the beginning of Sir Thomas Moore's book 'Utopia'

Utopias

The School of Athens fresco by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael

Changing worlds: the Renaissance

Students in a classroom envrionment, being taught by tutor at front of classroom

Bespoke sessions

Bespoke sessions can be designed within the school curricula or with current events in mind, and we are interested in discussing longer-term projects and collaborations.


Want to find out more?

To discuss the taster sessions we offer or bespoke arrangements, please contact our widening participation and educational equity lead, Dr Kirsten Harris (k.harris.1@warwick.ac.uk).

School sessions are offered free of charge to groups of non-fee paying schools and colleges. Priority will be given to non-selective schools and those where a high percentage of pupils are eligible for the Pupil Premium.


Explore some of our past Outreach events

Read about our commitment to inclusive and equitable education