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Morson has celebrated another milestone in delivering our vision for developing future generations of STEM talent (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths), with the official opening of a new IntoUniversity Salford learning centre.
The facility, located in The Beacon Centre, is a collaboration between the University of Salford, The University of Manchester, and national education charity IntoUniversity. It aims to provide long-term educational support to young people facing disadvantages, who are typically underrepresented in higher education.
Morson’s sponsorship of the new learning centre, as one of a number of donors, builds on our commitment to STEM skills and social mobility. In 2022 we established the Morson STEM Foundation in partnership with the University of Salford, which offers undergraduate scholarships, and power the Morson Maker Space. Located in the University’s new £65 million Science, Engineering & Environment Building, the Morson Maker Space is a STEM centre designed to provide students with opportunities to innovate and gain hands-on experience of the types of equipment used in the workplace.
CEO of Morson Group, Ged Mason OBE explained:
“Our involvement with the new learning centre, through IntoUniversity and the University of Salford, closes the loop when it comes to inspiring and supporting future talent in STEM.
“As a global talent business working with some of the world’s most progressive companies, we know that the workplace of the future will rely on the next generation of STEM talent. All too often, the potential is lost early in the education journey, perhaps because children weren’t switched on to the excitement and variety of STEM subjects, or due to socio-economic factors.”
Working closely with local schools, businesses and universities, IntoUniversity Salford will offer long-term support to young people aged 7-18, helping them to discover their focus, build their capabilities and ultimately have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Support offered at the centre includes after-school academic support, mentoring with local university students and professionals, in-school aspiration-raising workshops and enrichment and work experience opportunities. Once established, the centre will support over 1,000 students per year.
“The new learning centre aims to ensure the potential of Salford’s children is nurtured and prioritised, inspiring them to learn, engage, aspire and achieve. Those principles lie at the heart of both levelling up and addressing the need for a talent pipeline for some of the UK’s most innovative sectors.
“We hope to see the children who access support from the learning centre move through school and on to university. Who knows, the young people that are supported through the learning centre today, may be using the Morson Maker Space and receiving a Gerry Mason or Morson Group Scholarship in the future.”
The launch event of IntoUniversity Salford brought together around 25 students aged 7-18, who will benefit from the centre, their parents and guardians, donors, organisers and local supporters.
Guests were also surprised by a special video message from award-winning comedian and Salford alumnus Peter Kay, who himself had a life-changing experience by going to university to study Media and Performance.
Peter offered some sound advice for students at the centre, telling them:
“There’s a lot on offer at IntoUniversity to help young people achieve their potential and realise ambitions they may have never even considered. For all the children benefitting from the centre, my advice would be to take every opportunity you’re offered. You’re never going to know what will come up in life and you might fall in love with something you’ve never thought of. You’ve got time to explore many new subjects – keep your options open because you never stop learning.”
Salford was found to be the 18th most deprived local authority in England, out of 317, according to the Government’s 2019 Index of Multiple Level of Deprivation. Figures suggest around 22% of children in Salford are living in poverty (Greater Manchester Poverty Action, 2022). Pupils facing disadvantage in Salford are now 22.9 months of learning behind their peers by the time they finish their GCSEs (EPI, 2020), making it a high-priority area for this additional educational support.
The 39 IntoUniversity centres around the country have a strong track record of improving outcomes for young people in England. 66% of school leavers who attended IntoUniversity centres in 2021 went on to progress to university, compared with 26.6% of students from similar backgrounds nationally.
Professor Helen Marshall, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Salford, said:
“As a university, we have a strong track record in the area of widening participation and are motivated to helping students realise their full potential. We are proud to make a major contribution to providing access to higher education across Salford, the North West and nationally.
Dr Maria Stukoff, Maker Space Director from the University of Salford added:
“We are proud to take an active role in addressing STEM skill shortages by working in partnership with Morson to inspire young people to consider a future career in STEM by learning real-world digital fabrication skills in their studies. Our motto, Make in Salford, is a creative call to action for inspiring engineers of the future to realise they can succeed in STEM fields. With the opening of the new learning centre, we can now support IntoUniversity to engage with our local young people in a safe environment for exploring digital tools and engineering skills to fuel their passion for engineering, and prepare them to develop big ideas for the future.”
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester said:
“University education is a transformative experience for individuals, and for the prosperity of our local communities, so we are really enthusiastic about this new partnership with IntoUniversity Salford. It adds to the existing IntoUniversity centre we support in North Manchester, which has already supported more than 2,500 students with their academic work since autumn 2018. I’m very grateful to the staff, students and donors who have helped make the Salford centre happen and who will ensure its ongoing success.”
Dr Rachel Carr, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of IntoUniversity, said:
“We are delighted to have officially launched this centre in Salford Central, building on our existing work in the Greater Manchester area. The young people of Salford have so much to offer, but circumstances can mean they don’t get the same opportunities as other young people to reach their potential. We’re delighted that through this unique collaboration between local universities, we can provide many young people in the area with the support they need to succeed. We’re looking forward to continuing to build partnerships with schools and families in the local community and supporting students to achieve their ambitions.”
To find out more about IntoUniversity, visit www.intouniversity.org
IntoUniversity is an Education Charity Registered Charity Number 1118525 (England and Wales) and SC049776 (Scotland) which runs local learning centres that are inclusive of all academic abilities and help young people to achieve a university place or another positive destination.
IntoUniversity currently runs 39 centres in many of the poorest neighbourhoods across England and Scotland. IntoUniversity centres have a strong track record of improving outcomes for young people in England. In 2021, 66% of IntoUniversity students secured a university place compared with 26.6% of school leavers from similar backgrounds. www.intouniversity.org