Reaching out to regional schools and colleges

The University of Birmingham works with state schools and colleges in the West Midlands to encourage students to consider studying at university, especially those with no family history of higher education, or from under-represented groups.

The Outreach team run a number of programmes and activities to help students, teachers and careers advisers approach the university applications process. Our Outreach Activities Guide is a good starting point, but you can also read more about our initiatives below. For regular updates, make sure you register for our email newsletter.

Outreach activities

Access to Birmingham (A2B)

The Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme is designed to help students from families and communities in the West Midlands who have little or no experience of Higher Education find out about what studying at university involves.  For more information, please see our A2B page.

Raising Aspirations in Secondary Education (RAISE)

A range of free, fun, interactive lectures, workshops and competitive subject-based events for years 7 to 12. For more information please see our RAISE page.


Masterclasses are designed to stimulate enquiry and broaden knowledge of the subject area covered. They provide an opportunity to raise the aspirations and attainment of your widening participation cohort, and to stretch your gifted and talented students. For more information please see our masterclass page.


We recruit, train and support undergraduate students to work in local schools and colleges, providing one-to-one mentoring support for learners in years 9 to 13. Our mentoring programmes are focussed on students from widening participation backgrounds. For more information please see our mentoring page.

Routes to the Professions (R2P)

The R2P initiative helps students from under-represented groups to access university courses that lead to professional careers, such as medicine and law.  For more information, please see our R2P page.

On campus school visits

We organise tailored school visits for groups of up to 50 targeted students, all aimed at raising the aspirations of students and providing them with important information, advice and guidance to enable them to make informed decisions about their future. If you would like to arrange a school visit please email with details of the year group and suggested dates.

Visits out to schools and colleges

We can deliver presentations on a variety of university related topics, including why go to university, the importance of qualifications, how to choose a course, student finance, Access to Birmingham, student life and how to apply to university. We are also keen to support school and colleges with guidance and progression evenings.  If you would like to arrange for us to visit your school or college please email with details of the event.

Summer Residentials

Summer residentials provide a fantastic opportunity for able students with no history of higher education in their family to consider university as a viable option for their future, and to experience it first hand by staying on campus and going to lectures like normal students. For more information please see our summer residentials page.

Academic Enrichment Programme (AEP)

The AEP helps to encourage young people who live in the West Midlands with no family history of higher education to apply to a leading research university, supporting and guiding them in the process. For more information please see our AEP page.

Birmingham Link (BLINK)

The Birmingham Link (BLINK) programme aims to encourage and enable students to make a successful transition from KS4 to KS5. The programme is targeted at students who are interested in applying to the University of Birmingham and wish to learn how to strengthen their university applications. For more information, including our application criteria, please visit our BLINK page.

Higher Education Initiative (HEI)

The HEI residential is designed to raise the aspirations of academically gifted year 12 students from non-traditional backgrounds who live in areas outside of the West Midlands.  with no family history of higher education to apply to a leading research university, supporting and guiding them in the process. For more information please see our HEI page.

Realising Opportunities (RO)

The University of Birmingham is a member of RO. This is a collaboration of 15 leading research intensive universities, working together to promote fair access and social mobility of students from groups under-represented in higher education. The programme is designed to support students through their post-16 studies with skills development and guidance, as well as allowing students to demonstrate their potential to study at a research intensive university.Successful completion of the programme gives students additional consideration through UCAS and the potential for alternative offers from the RO universities. For more information please see the Realising Opportunities website.

Forward Thinking Progressive Programme

Forward Thinking is a progressive programme of activities for students from Year 8 through to Year 11 who are currently attending a Forward Thinking partner school.  The programme is targeted at Gifted and Talented young people from less advantaged backgrounds who are likely to have little or no knowledge of higher education, but who have the academic potential to consider future progression to university. Throughout the programme learners will participate in a range of on-campus activities, receive one to one mentoring support from undergraduates in school, and access bespoke information and advice materials to support the programme.  For more information please email the Forward Thinking Team.

Primary schools

We work with year 6 primary school children to introduce them to the concept and vocabulary of higher education through fun games and activities as well as visits to the university. In partnership with Aimhigher West Midlands, we have developed a suite of free, fun and interactive games to support year 6 children with the primary to secondary school transition phase. Each online game gently introduces the exciting changes that pupils will face when they embark on their journey to secondary school. The games, which give students a fun way to prepare for their new adventure, can be accessed from all devices at home or in the classroom. You can play the games here. For more information about visits and other opportunities contact indicating that you are interested in primary school outreach. 

Aimhigher West Midlands

The Outreach Team plays a key role in the Aimhigher West Midlands partnership, a network of 12 regional universities and colleges who work together to develop and deliver widening participation activities, and help schools engage more effectively in the support available. In addition to hosting the Aimhigher coordination team we are delivery partners in the initiative's collaborative Mentoring, Unifest summer school, Primary Outreach and Teacher CPD programmes. For more information please see the Aimhigher website. 

Advancing Access

Advancing Access is a network of 24 research intensive, Russell Group universities who work with schools and colleges to support students' progression to leading institutions. Advancing Access have recently launched their website which provides a variety of CPD resources and online events for teachers and advisers to help them advise learners who are making their key stage 4, key stage 5 and university choices.


There are a number of resources to support students, parents, teachers and careers advisers. For more information please see the resources page.

Additional support

The Outreach Team offer additional support for Care Leavers and Young Carers. There is also an additional scholarship for a student with no access to mainstream student finance. This is called the Article 26 Scholarship

Wider contextual offer

The University of Birmingham is delighted to announce the introduction of a new nationwide contextual offer for 2017 entry to add to its extensive suite of widening participation activities. Please follow the link for additional information on the wider contextual offer

Visiting the university
Reaching out to regional schools and colleges
Meet the team