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A programme to support undergraduate students towards succeeding in higher education is to be extended and developed thanks to a new partnership with investment banking company Goldman Sachs, which announced its new regional hub in Birmingham earlier this year. 

The Birmingham Scholar programme is designed to support students from under-represented backgrounds who entered the University though the Pathways to Birmingham (P2B) scheme. Pathways to Birmingham is designed to offer students in years 12 and 13 an insight into higher education and professional career routes, supporting them through their university application process. When P2B students begin their studies at Birmingham they automatically become Birmingham Scholars and as such are offered a wide range of opportunities which assists them throughout their time at Birmingham and helps prepare them for their future career, with a holistic range of support which Goldman Sachs will help deliver.

P2B students attend one of the University’s more than 250 P2B partner schools located across the West Midlands region where individual circumstances often mean students face a multitude of barriers in attending higher education.

Goldman Sachs’ involvement with the Birmingham Scholar programme includes financial support alongside ongoing mentorship and upskilling opportunities for students. Goldman Sachs will look to provide internships, work placements and insight days to students, enabling them to improve their employability and future prospects. The donation will also help the University of Birmingham employ a member of staff to coordinate the delivery of this partnership. Goldman Sachs will explore opportunities to engage with the wider university spanning across guest lectures and talks, as well business development opportunities.

Professor Tim Jones, Provost and Vice-Principal of the University of Birmingham, said: 'Goldman Sachs’ donation and ongoing involvement enables us to extend and enrich the support we offer to Birmingham Scholars. That means we can raise the aspirations of even more students who might not otherwise go to university, and break down more of the barriers currently preventing them from applying.'

Brigit Simler, EMEA Head of Human Capital Management, said: 'We are excited to support the University of Birmingham and the incredible work they do within Pathways to Birmingham and the Birmingham Scholar programme. As a firm, we are passionate about providing equal opportunities and supporting young people to reach their potential – this new partnership will allow us to work towards our shared ambition of levelling the playing field, and sparking economic growth for people and communities. As a University of Birmingham alumna myself, I am delighted to be back at a place that holds so many fond memories.'

While Goldman Sachs will support the P2B and wider Birmingham Scholar networks, they are particularly keen to support students studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.