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About us

"A HEFCW-funded Reaching Wider Programme project"

Reaching Wider aims to increase Higher Education (HE) participation from previously under-represented groups and communities in Wales (in particular Communities First). We do this by raising aspirations, creating new study opportunities and developing creative and innovative learning pathways.

The Reaching Wider Programme is a Wales-wide HEFCW strategy, established as an initiative in 2002, to widen participation and access to Higher Education (HE), supporting social inclusion and upskilling. Our aim is to increase participation in higher education from groups and communities in Wales (in particular those from Communities First areas), where participation is low, by creating a wide range of study opportunities and learning pathways to higher education.

Partnership members within the North & Mid Wales reaching Wider Partnership include:

  • Universities
  • Further Education Colleges
  • Open University
  • Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol
  • Community Groups
  • Other service providers and schools

Activities and projects are designed to encourage:

  • participation at HE level for groups in Communities First areas and the lower quintile areas of the region
  • involvement of learners with protected characteristics (as defined in the Equality Act 2010)
  • activities involving refugees and asylum seekers
  • ways of raising the education and vocational aspirations of children and the parents, carers, families and
  • aspiration raising activities for young people and adults not yet at the point of transition to HE
  • participation in the workplace and workforce learning, employability and skills (including vocational learning and skills-focused opportunities, Foundation Degree developments, HE in FE, bite-sized chunks of learning.
  • progression opportunities for learners wishing to study through the medium of Welsh
  • collaboration with Further Education (FE) and other stakeholders to improve FE to HE progression routes and information, advice and guidance on HE related issues
  • activities that support the education and skills of looked after children, care leavers and their carers
  • activities that encourage progression to STEM priority subjects
  • activities that work towards and promote the Skills, STEM, and employer engagement agenda



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