Job title : Widening Participation Officer (Schools Partnerships)
Support Department : Student Recruitment & Admissions (SRA)
Line Manager : Widening Participation Manager
UoE Grade 6 : £28,331 - £32,816
Full-time permanent post
2. Job Summary
Widening Participation (WP) recognises that not everyone has the same start in life nor the same opportunities to flourish and succeed educationally.
The University of Edinburgh has a long-standing commitment to WP from the most under-represented groups in our community : we aim to address these educational inequalities through our projects and outreach work.
Working to raise aspiration towards Higher Education and offer support, where possible, to remove those obstacles, so that individuals, regardless of their background, can make informed choices about their future built on their own ambitions and potential and fully pursue them.
YourEd, our schools partnership scheme, is of fundamental importance in tackling educational inequality. Designed for school and pupils who feel Edinburgh is not for them .
We take the university to them : sharing our resources and expertise to broaden a sense of belonging to Edinburgh. We work with 10 partner schools over 8 local authorities within a 50mile radius of Edinburgh.
Providing a 6 year programme of activities and support to engage WP pupils and the staff that support them : raising pupil attainment and aspiration (towards Edinburgh).
In this way, perceptions of our University will change, not only for students but their families and school staff, and with it our applicant pool and ultimately student body.
As a part of the WP schools team, you will be the main lead and public face of YourEd to prospective students and their teachers, parents and advisers and will be responsible for the day-to-day co-ordination, organisation and administration of YourEd.
You will be expected to plan all aspects of the YourEd project, and often in collaboration with other practitioners but sometimes alone, deliver activities.
As part of the University’s WP team, you will also be involved in our other schools projects, our general WP work, and wider Student Recruitment & Admissions core events such as Open Days.
3. Main Responsibilities
Organise, continually develop and review a high quality annual programme of on and off campus activities / events for schools (pupils, parents, staff).
These activities will include university-type experiences (sample lectures, campus tours, UCAS info sessions, student panels) and will aim to raise aspirations of under-represented young people, raise attainment, and ultimately increase participation in HE and Edinburgh specifically.
Create and maintain partnerships with relevant internal and external contacts establishing a co-ordinated approach to meeting the aims of the YourEd project and WP Schools team, ensuring that high quality activities are developed and delivered via these partnerships.
These will include academic staff, University Admissions colleagues, Student Association, University Students, University Professional Services colleagues (room booking, catering, IT), WP colleagues in other institutions and Scottish Schools and Colleges.
Undertake quantitative and qualitative monitoring and data analysis to inform evaluation and reporting on the delivery and impact of YourEd and other WP projects.
Provide specialist advice and support on applying to university including the UCAS and Admissions process.
Provide training, advice and support to University staff on WP issues. To respond to general enquiries on WP activities and strategy from both internal and external colleagues.
Contribute to our communications work with various stakeholders via social media, publications, presentations and website.
Overseeing the work of SRA interns and student ambassador when working n WP projects.
Contribute to wider WP / SRA activities to enhance recruitment and support in general, and from under-represented groups in particular.
4. Planning and Organisation
Leading the WP team’s YourEd project, alongside your other duties, requires the planning and management of an extensive annual programme of events (e.
g. school workshops, campus visit days, one-day conference, summer schools, teachers CPD, schools careers evenings) both on and off campus - and thereafter the monitoring, evaluation, development and improvement of the project.
This will involve (and will not necessarily be limited to) :
5. Problem Solving
With limited resources, the delivery of effective and high quality outreach programmes responsive to the individual needs of students and their families requires prioritisation and planning.
The activities must also aid the University in progress towards both internal targets and external benchmarks.
An example would be developing appropriate information, advice and guidance tailored to the needs of students and their parents / family members from non-traditional groups on accessing higher education, combating negative perceptions, enhancing knowledge, and addressing skills gaps.
A second example would be persuading staff from across the University of the importance of WP to HE, using qualitative and quantitative evidence to support these arguments, encouraging their involvement in activity that supports the University’s strategic aims and objectives.
6. Decision Making
7. Key contacts / Relationships
8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience needed for the Job
to communicate with a wide range of people, including school students aged 9-19 year olds, teachers / schools senior management, WP practitioners across institutions, University academics, local council officials and professional bodies.
SRA engages with in excess of 50,000 prospective students, their families and advisers each year. The University is highly devolved and communication or articulation of planning can present challenges.
10. Job Context and other relevant information
SRA’s mission is to lead the design, development and implementation of the University of Edinburgh’s strategy for student recruitment, admissions, widening participation and orientation.
We do this by making effective use of research and market intelligence and providing both internal and external stakeholders with expert information, advice and guidance, empowering them to make good decisions.
The department’s values are :