ACA has joined a new consortium of outreach programmes at the University of Cambridge working with schools in the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough region.
The University of Cambridge has long been working closely with schools in the local area and in recent years this was in conjunction with Aimhigher. Aimhigher was an enterprise with the aim of widening participation in higher education which partnered universities, colleges, schools as well as training and careers services to raise awareness, aspirations and attainment among learners from under-represented groups. Access Cambridge Archaeology’s (ACA) Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) programme began with support and funding from Aimhigher regional offices in the east of England until Aimhigher was closed in July 2011 when it fell victim to government funding cuts. With the demise of central government funding for widening participation, the onus is now on universities to self-fund initiatives using additional income from the rise in undergraduate tuition fees. In January 2012, ACA learned it had been successful in bidding for funding from the University of Cambridge’s newly created Widening Participation Project Fund. This now helps to support continuation of HEFA, one of one of ACA’s flagship outreach activities, for three years from 2012-2015, in recognition of the programme’s effective targeting of students, delivery of objectives and assessment of impact.
HEFA is one of nine initiatives working in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough which is featured on the new CAPSOG website. In 2014, ACA will be running two HEFAs in the area, both of which will take place in villages new to the archaeological test-pit excavation programme. The Fen Edge Archaeology Group will be hosting schools from north Cambridgeshire in Rampton in April and the Sawtry History Society will be hosting schools from east Cambridgeshire in Sawtry in May.
Other outreach activities profiled on the new CAPSOG website include the Millennium Maths Project and educational outreach projects at the Cavendish Physics Laboratory, and the Music Faculty. As well as these subject specific outreach opportunities, Pembroke and St. Catharine’s Colleges are linked to the local education authorities of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to ensure that schools have a dedicated contact to provide information support for prospective Cambridge applicants.
The University of Cambridge also continues school links in the region founded by Aimhigher through the Higher Education Partnership run by Matt Diston from the Cambridge Admissions Office. As part of the partnership, a series of careers and education workshops were jointly run by the University of Cambridge, Anglia Ruskin University and Cambridge Regional College for North Cambridge Academy students in Years 10 and 11, which you can read more about here.
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