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Our story

Educational Engagement and widening participation

Faculties within the University of Leeds have been running outreach events with the public for over a century. Our current outreach work with schools and colleges is managed by a dedicated department, Educational Engagement (EE). EE was established in 2012 with the mission to open access to higher education to students from all backgrounds.

The University of Leeds has a strong tradition of Widening Participation and we strive to be a place where all students feel they belong and matter. Our aim is to widen access for under-represented groups, encouraging students from all backgrounds to progress to university and succeed in their studies and future careers. Information on the impact of our widening participation activities and initiatives can be accessed in our Annual Report.

EE currently prioritises work with students from Low Participation Neighbourhoods and widening participation backgrounds, as well as students from ethnic backgrounds not proportionally represented at the University of Leeds.

The Health Sciences Outreach Team

The Health Sciences Outreach Team delivers a wide range of activities and events over the course of the year, focussed on inspiring the next generation of health professionals. We visit schools and colleges across the country, as well as welcoming students on to campus to find out more about the exciting careers in the fields of medicine and health. We also run a range of range of online sustained engagement programmes and webinars.

We work closely with academic colleagues from across the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Educational Engagement team to raise awareness of the various healthcare professions and provide information and guidance on applying to these courses.

How we help

We collect feedback following all of our activities, in order to evaluate and continually improve our programmes and activities, ensuring that they meet the needs of our participants.

Students involved in our outreach activities overwhelmingly report: 

  • A greater understanding of the different career opportunities in the health sector and what is required to get there
  • A greater understanding of what life is like as a student on a health course at university 
  • Increased confidence and knowledge for future applications to competitive health courses

You can see below what some of the students on our programmes had to say:

"I look forward to attending Futures every week. It's given me the confidence to pursue studying at university as I am more aware of the courses available, the course content and the whole application process. It has therefore also motivated me to work hard in my studies!"

"It is an amazingly put together programme and I am enjoying it all. It is great that we are able to ask all the questions we want and that there is someone to help us, thank you so much!"

"I have learnt that there are so many health careers I don't know about, and how important it is to research as much as I can and keep an open mind."

"Learning more about university has been really interesting and has helped me to picture myself going and what it would be like."