MP joins university roadshow for Sheffield pupils

MP Clive Betts at Handsworth Community College
MP Clive Betts at Handsworth Community College

College students learned more about the value of higher education from visitors from Hallam University and their local MP.

Clive Betts, MP for Sheffield South East, joined staff and student ambassadors from Sheffield Hallam University at Handsworth Grange Community Sports College, to help raise awareness of how higher education can help to expand horizons regardless of background.

The MP took part in a ‘roadshow’ with a class of over 30 year eight pupils.

This was as part of ‘SHUTube’ sessions that involve Sheffield Hallam staff and student ambassadors working with pupils to help them create short videos on iPads, recording their thoughts on such topics as careers, jobs and university life.

In this way it is hoped that barriers to university can be broken down, particularly for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, by building their understanding of higher education. Many events are targeted to neighbourhoods that have historically seen low numbers of young people going on to university.

Mr Betts said: “It’s extremely important that young people who come from families which have little or no experience of university know how they can benefit from higher education just like anyone else.

”Nicola Rawlins, Director of Admissions and UK Student Recruitment at Sheffield Hallam, said: “These outreach sessions are a great way to get out in the community and it’s clear they are effective.

“Last year we engaged with over 56,000 local students and 70 per cent felt they knew more about higher education after taking part and over 62 per cent felt more positive about going to university.”

Sheffield Hallam University has over 31,500 students. In 2014 to 2015 41 per cent of Sheffield Hallam’s new young UK students were from low income backgrounds compared to the university average of 33 per cent.