We encourage everyone to participate in Higher Education

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We value the wealth of experience, skills and knowledge which students from diverse backgrounds bring to the experience of other students and staff of the University.

We have a strategic target to foster stronger recruitment from groups currently under-represented in higher education, by working to raise aspirations and break down barriers to participation such as those created by culture, geography, social and economic factors.

We aspire to be a university that:

  • Raises aspirations of those from groups currently under-represented in higher education
  • Breaks down any barriers which might discourage people from taking up courses at the University
  • Recruits students from a wide range of groups including those currently under-represented in higher education
  • Nurtures and supports students through to successful course completion
  • Promotes high levels of achievement
  • Promotes high levels of employability and skills in enterprise
  • Encourages re-engagement and lifelong learning

We work with a variety of communities from Hampshire and across the south coast:

Our Communities

Children in Care and Careleavers

Here is a snapshot of activities we've recently organised:

'Spotlight on Uni' Spring School

In April 2015, 20 young people in care (aged 14-19 years old) and 8 care leavers (including Care Ambassadors and HE Ambassadors) participated in the 3-day Spring School residential. The residential, run in collaboration with Hampshire County Council's Children's Services, aims to provide young people from a care background an experience of university life and realise the HE opportunities available to them.

This year the residential included a CSI themed day of activities looking at forensics, policing, criminology and psychology with students and lecturers, a murder mystery evening – where participants had to put their investigative skills to the test. On day 2 participants took part in career based taster sessions in the morning, whilst in the afternoon they visited YMCA Fairthorne Manor Activity Centre.

During the visit they found out more about careers and apprenticeships in outdoor education whilst pushing their team working, communication and leadership skills in a number of team challenges, some even challenged their own fears of heights on tackling the Jacobs Ladder or Crate Challenge, and everyone had the chance to let off steam on the bouncy pillow – a giant sized multi-colour trampoline-like structure.

Feedback from participants:

  • "Very well set up, there wasn't a moment that I felt bored"
  • 94% rated the Spring School 'Excellent' or 'Very good'
  • 94% also said they would like to come back next year!
  • "The residential was excellent because everyone was very friendly and helpful

Brighter Futures Fun Day

On Saturday 7 March, the university and Hampshire County Council Children's Services held a new event for younger foster children, those aged 11-13 years old, and their foster families. The day which included numerous arts and crafts, alongside circus skills workshops led by Street Arts alumni 'Magic Dan', enabled foster children and their carers a chance to interact and find out more about the university. Foster carers also had a forum about how to support looked after children in education, whilst the children discussed ways foster carers and schools could help and support them to achieve.

Traineeship Plus

Traineeship Plus Plus is a programme run by Hampshire County Council to support Hampshire Care Leavers and other young people by providing extended work experience opportunities within Hampshire County Council. The University works with staff from Hampshire County Council to provide a work-ready programme which ensures the Trainees are ready for the responsibilities of paid employment and are familiar with Hampshire County Council. Several cohorts of young people have been through the programme and moved on to employment.

Further information on Traineeship Plus is available on the Hampshire County Council website

Support for careleaver Undergraduates

King Alfred Scholarship

The University provides tailored support to all full-time undergraduate students from a background in care, including a financial support package, designated Welfare Adviser, support with financial planning and budgeting, and accommodation in University housing for the duration of their course.

Discover more about the King Alfred Scholarship

Compact Agreement

In 2006, the University of Winchester signed a Compact Agreement with Hampshire Children's Services to encourage more young people leaving care to progress to University. The Agreement gives careleaver applicants additional credit for achievement in areas of experience other than the ones measured through usual examinations. This recognises the fact that many young people in the care system experience disruption to their education through no fault of their own, and that as a result their educational qualifications may not fully reflect their potential to succeed at university.

The Agreement extends the close partnership which has already been built between the University of Winchester and Hampshire Children's Services. This has included training for staff at the University to meet the needs of care leavers, as well as residential summer schools, taster days and activities at the University specifically targeted at raising the educational aspirations of young people in care.

"The University of Winchester has been very supportive. If it wasn't for the staff at the University I would never have had the confidence to apply. The level of support received is fantastic and it's given me confidence to know that I have such an excellent support network behind me."


Black and Minority Ethnic Communities

Here is a snapshot of activities we've recently organised:

Twilight HE information event

  • Families from the Nepalese communities in Winchester and Basingstoke enjoyed a summer's evening of information and entertainment on the campus

  • Secondary school pupils enjoyed the opportunity to talk to student HE ambassadors about their experiences of applying to and studying at university. Small groups had lively discussions which continued as the group was shown around the university campus

  • Foundation Music provided a recital and an inspiring talk about the opportunities to enjoy musical performance at the University of Winchester.


Students with Disabilities

We are committed to supporting students with disabilities, who have the academic ability to progress to higher education, to make informed decisions about their educational futures.

We do this through a variety of outreach events which aim to:

  • Raise awareness of additional support available in higher education for students with disabilities (academic and financial)
  • Enable disabled students to experience a university campus
  • Provide opportunities to meet current University students, including those with disabilities
  • Offer relevant information to teachers, family and carers of disabled students

The Widening Participation Team has developed tailor-made events in partnership with a range of organisations, for example:

  • Grateley House School
  • Mary Hare School
  • ASD Resource, Romsey School
  • Basingstoke Consortium
  • Basingstoke College of Technology
  • Leigh House

We also have a long-standing link with Treloar College and support their transition to higher education days.

We work closely with the University's Wellbeing Team and with the other three universities in Hampshire on collaborative events. 

Young Carers and Young Adult Carers

The University provides outreach to young carers and young adult carers, working in partnership with Hampshire Young Carers Alliance, The Children's Society, Carers Trust and Hampshire Children's Services. We also aim to provide excellent support to young adult carers who are studying at the University.

Who are Young Carers?

Young Carers are children and young people under 18 who help to look after a family member who is disabled, physically or mentally ill or has a substance misuse problem. The last census indicated that there are around 175,000 young carers in the UK. Their educational progress may be disrupted through poor attendance, under-achievement or bullying.

Young Adult Carers outreach project

We are developing our outreach to young adult carers (aged 18-25). We know that a number of our own undergraduates have experience of being young carers and that they are keen to encourage the young people to focus on their own needs and aspirations for the future.

'Spotlight on Uni' – Spring School Residential

On Wednesday 15 April 2015, 26 Young Carers (aged 15-19 years old) from across Hampshire visited the University to take part in a 3-day 'Spotlight on Uni' residential. The Young Carers were identified by Young Carer project workers. Participants took part in a range of activities based around different careers and courses on offer at universities.

The first day was a CSI themed day where participants took part in hands-on forensics and criminal psychology taster sessions, putting their newfound investigative skills to the test in a murder mystery themed competition later in the evening.

On the second day, participants visited YMCA Fairthorne Manor Activity Centre. During the visit they found out more about careers and apprenticeships in outdoor education whilst pushing their team working, communication and leadership skills in a number of team challenges, some even challenged their own fears of heights on tackling the Jacobs Ladder or Crate Challenge, and everyone had the chance to let off steam on the bouncy pillow – a giant-sized, multi-colour trampoline-like structure.

Feedback from participants and project staff:

  • "I learnt that universities will be understanding of my situations while applying for places"
  • 96% agreed that the Spring School 'Helped me find out more about HE'
  • 92% also said they would like to come back next year!
  • "It's been the best trip I've ever been on."

Partnership with Winchester and District Young Carers Project

The University is very pleased to be working with Winchester Young Carers Project (WYCP), since 2010, to provide activities which engage and inform the young people about educational opportunities and options.

The University is also represented on the Management Committee of WYCP and through longer-term partnership working we aim to develop a planned programme of activities.


Young Adult Carers

The University is developing outreach to young adult carers in partnership with Healthwatch Hampshire, Hampshire Young Carers Alliance, Princess Royal Trust for Carers and the Carers Trust. The University is also working to enhance support for students who care for family members with long-term illness or disability.

Who are Young Adult Carers?

Young adult carers are carers between the ages of 18 and 25 who look after a relative or friend, of any age, due to disability, chronic/terminal illness, mental health problem or an alcohol or drug addiction/dependency. They face different issues to other carers and may be looking at moving out of home, going into higher education or juggling working lives with continuing to be a carer.

Toolkit for Universities

The University of Winchester - together with Carers Trust, NUS, the University of Nottingham and a small group of other universities across the country - has developed a toolkit for higher education providers to help improve outreach to young carers and support for young adult carers who progress to university. This was published in early 2015.

Lady Mary Bursary for Young Adult Carers

The University offers young adult carers a bursary. Learn more about it in the Scholarships and bursaries section of the website.