University of Warwick shortlisted as finalist for two UK social mobility awards

In the last few days it was announced that the University of Warwick has been shortlisted for two completely different UK Social mobility awards

Firstly, on 16th of July the University of Warwick was been shortlisted in the University of the Year category in the UK Social Mobility Awards 2021.

The SOMOs (the UK Social Mobility Awards) were the first national awards dedicated to social mobility, recognising the forward-thinking organisations that are working to progress social mobility – the shortlist represents those who have best demonstrated the efficacy of their social mobility initiatives. Organised by social justice charity, Making The Leap, this year’s winners will be determined by our independent judging panel, made up of leading figures from business, charity and the public sector, and chaired by Sir Ken Olisa OBE. They will be announced on 14th October 2021.

Sir Ken Olisa OBE, the HM Lord Lieutenant of London, said:

“The war against Covid-19 has shown just how strong our nation is when we pull together. It has also shown how ‘we’ means people from every walk of life, heritage and ability. There can be no greater proof of the power of social mobility. Now that its value is beyond dispute ‘we’ must pull out all of the stops to make social mobility a reality – even in peacetime.”

Paul Blagburn, the University of Warwick’s Head of Widening Participation, said:

“We are delighted that we have made the shortlist of this prestigious award, there are universities that are doing some excellent work in the social mobility space, and so are we. Our aim is to be recognised as a beacon of excellence for our approach to social mobility and WP evidence-based research and practice nationally and internationally.”

The same week Warwick heard that its Warwick Scholars Programme has been placed the final shortlist for the ‘Highest Impact University Initiative Award’ as part of the Student Social Mobility Awards. This accolade is really important as it was nominated by students. The winners of that award will be announced at the House of Lords in September.

Warwick Scholars has grown into a comprehensive programme of activities, opportunities and experiences, designed to level the playing field and aid social mobility. By 2020 our Warwick Scholars community comprised 300+ students and will continue to grow to beyond 1000 in the next few years. Our aim for Warwick Scholars was to create a programme and a community which addressed the barriers to access, progression and success which students from the least socially mobile communities experience.

Speaking about the Warwick Scholars programme the University of Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart Croft said:

“This is a truly transformational social mobility programme, supporting students to get in, get on and give back. It also demonstrates our commitment to maximising the ability of young people from our own local region to directly benefit from being part of one of the world’s top 100 universities.”

“By focusing on our local region we not only give something significant back to our community it is also one of the most effective ways of targeting and reaching young people who have the ability to benefit from a leading university but face other social or economic barriers.”

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