The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Access All Areas Conference on Widening Participation

On Thursday the 16th of March, at the University of Manchester Students’ Union, a Widening Participation Conference will be held for all students

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The University of Manchester Students’ Union’s very own ‘Access All Areas’ facilitate student-led activities in order to help with widening participation projects ran, in order to tackle the educational inequality at the higher levels.

On Thursday the 16th of March, ‘Access All Areas’ will be holding a conference at the University of Manchester Students’ Union as part of the ‘Liber8 Education’ national campaign. Key themes of widening participation will be discussed in order to build and maintain an effective University, highlighting examples of student-led programmes from across the country.

NUS President Malia Bouattia will be a key note speaker at the event, who is passionate about widening participation due to her own experiences of education.

“I came to this country as a refugee at the age of 7 because my parents wanted to ensure that I would receive an education free of fear. Attending university was a great source of pride for my family, but it came with many difficulties as a working class Algerian woman on a campus that was far from diverse in student body, staff and course content.

“Getting involved in widening participation projects and my equality and diversity department allowed me use my feelings of isolation and throw my energy into initiatives that addressed the barriers within our institutions.”

University of Manchester Students’ Union Diversity Officer Ilyas Nagdee is also heavily involved with widening participation.

“During my time at college, I was on a widening participation initiative that introduced me to Higher Education. Through several activities including meeting current students from a similar background to me – a working class student who was the first in his family to apply for university – I successfully entered university.“

Workshop submissions have flooded in from across the country from Universities and Students’ Unions including Kings College London Students’ Union, Sussex Students’ Union, and the Brilliant Club. Students from up and down the country are welcome to get involved in the Manchester event, in a show of solidarity. ‘Liber8 Education’ aims for us all to defend our colleges and universities and put forward our vision for a free, liberated education. Spread the message and get involved with your Union.

This will be of particular interest to those students who want to get involved in student leadership initiatives and widening participation projects.

Tickets are available from Eventbrite under ‘Access All Areas Conference: The role of current students in access and widening participation to higher education’.