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How we help promote diverse young talent through education

How we help promote diverse young talent through education

21st Sep 2021

In our third blog on sponsoring University of Leeds students, we focus on promoting diverse young talent regardless of economic background.

We know that students from less advantaged backgrounds stand to gain the most from higher education. But they're often the people who struggle to access university. Despite increased access to a wider range of higher education institutions in the twenty-first century, going to university is still beyond the reach of many people. And that means that the country is missing out on some of its brightest young minds fulfilling their potential. It also means that the workforce is deprived of a rich pool of diverse young talent. In the third of our series of blogs looking at our sponsorship of students at the University of Leeds, we focus on diversity of economic background.

Supporting young people from less advantaged backgrounds

The focus for diversity in the workplace is on the protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010: ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion etc. But in education, considerations of diversity must also include social status and economic background. UK universities aim to create a future which moves beyond background when it comes to accessing higher education. Anyone with the will and potential to succeed should have the opportunity to transform their lives through accessing an outstanding learning experience.

Levelling the playing field for students from less advantaged backgrounds can help unlock diverse young talent. Practically speaking, improving access is usually about ensuring that young people have the resources to go to university. Sysmax scholarships at the University of Leeds widen participation by providing vital financial support to young people throughout their time as students. And it can give support to people who seek to return to education as mature students too.

“As the first person in my family to start university I was very unsure of myself and at times wondered if university was where I belonged. I now know that this is the best decision I could have made for myself and for my future.” BSc Mathematics

Another successful year supporting diverse young talent

We had another successful year supporting two students from diverse economic backgrounds in the 2020-21 academic year. Of course, it was a particularly challenging year for all UK university students, given the fact that many were working remotely. Some were shielding or were caring for other vulnerable family members. Others who are reliant on income from part-time jobs saw those opportunities dry up. Yet the updates we received this summer from our scholarship recipients show the difference that our support makes. We help to provide a safety net, and we make life a little bit easier for some of the most vulnerable students.

In the words of our scholars from this and past years:

  • "Coming from a poorer socio-economic background, and a lower-ranked university at which I studied my undergraduate degree, I am happy to say I have risen to the challenge of Master's study and am currently handling the process well." MSc Sustainability and Consultancy
  • "My scholarship has helped me in so many ways. I am able to afford any materials for studying that I need and can buy any essentials without any worry." BSc Computer Science
  • “I have really settled in now, and I know I would not have been able to do this without your help.” BSc Dental Surgery & Oral Science

Can you support more young people at the University of Leeds?

Scholarships at the University of Leeds broaden the horizons of students from less advantaged backgrounds and leave a lasting impact which can change the course of their lives. What's more, recipients of scholarships have been shown to outperform their peers. In July 2019, 88% of those receiving a scholarship achieved a First or Upper Second degree, compared to 86% of the graduating cohort overall.

But we know that more needs to be done. For the past academic year, there were six applications for every scholarship available at the University of Leeds for the 2020-21 cohort. While they awarded 160 scholarships, this means 900 more young people with huge potential have probably not gone on to higher education. Why not contact the university today and find out how you can support the diverse young talent of the future?

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To find out more about how Sysmax supports diverse young talent through its University of Leeds sponsorship programme, contact one of the team today.

Post by Peter McAteer

Peter is the founder and CEO of Sysmax, a market-leader in the areas of compliance, performance improvement and competency management. He has more than 35 years’ experience working with global leaders in high-risk industries such and oil and gas extraction. Peter’s focus is on driving performance improvement though analysis of business compliance and staff competency, including risk analysis, high technology engineering and value optimisation. He works with clients to ensure they make the most of the opportunities inherent with the Sysmax suite of products.