Widening Participation

Bristol Learning City shares a vision where everyone has the opportunity to be successful. In becoming a fairer city, we must make sure opportunities in life are not defined by personal backgrounds or economic circumstances by putting new pioneering initiatives into place to tackle social mobility.


  1. Bristol Scholars

  2. Bristol Scholars is a new pioneering scheme being offered by the University of Bristol to help ensure local school children have an equal opportunity to realise their academic potential, irrespective of their background.
  3. The Russell Group university will be making lower guaranteed offers to five ‘high potential’ students from every school in Bristol, which offers post-16 qualifications, for the course they wish to study.
  4. Eligibility for the scheme will be based on head teachers’ assessment of potential and progress, rather than examination results alone.
  5. Priority will be given to students who have overcome educational or domestic disadvantage and meet a range of widening participation criteria such as being the first in their family to attend university, being part of the Free School Meals cohort, living in care or being a young carer.
  6. In addition to a guaranteed offer, the University will offer academic and pastoral support to the scholars, plus financial support for those whose household income is below £25,000.
  7. The new scheme was launched by MP Justine Greening, Secretary of State for Education, at St Bede’s Catholic College in Bristol on Thursday 15 December.
  8. Additional key speakers at the launch included Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, Professor Les Ebdon, Director of Fair Access to Higher Education, Professor Hugh Brady, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, and Molly Hiscox, a nominated Bristol Scholar.