Widening Participation

Lancaster has a committed approach to widening participation and understands that some students face a number of barriers and obstacles when considering university.

We know that for many students who come from a non-traditional university background, even thinking about applying to university is a big step. We want to ensure that future applicants to Lancaster are not held back by any barriers and that our student cohort reflects the diverse society that we live in.

Our Widening Participation team offer a variety of free outreach activities for school and college groups both on and off campus and in schools including talks, workshops, Masterclasses and residential stays. All activities are aimed at students in Years 11 through to 13. We also work with teachers, parents and careers advisors to make sure that students receive the best information when researching their Higher Education options.

Campus Day Visits 

Our campus day visits are designed to give a general introduction to higher education. Students will work with current Lancaster University students to discuss topics including Student Life, Student Finance and Barriers to Higher Education and will also work on UCAS and Personal Statements. The visit to Lancaster also includes a chance to see our first class facilities during a tour of the campus. Groups can participate in many academic taster sessions during their visit, giving the opportunity to experience a taste of studying at university.

Target Lancaster Mentoring Programme

Our Target Lancaster Mentoring programme works with Year 12 students (mentees) from widening participation backgrounds, and provides a sustained programme of interventions designed to inspire, motivate, build confidence and encourage students to progress to university.

Mentees work with current Lancaster students (mentors) on a number of in school/college sessions based around the questions and issues mentees have about university. Mentees and mentors are matched through shared areas of academic interest.

The Target Uni Mentoring programme culminates in a final day visit to Lancaster University where mentees can mix with others involved in the programme, meet with Lancaster academics and admissions tutors and find out firsthand about student life and a campus university.

All mentees who successfully complete the Target Uni Mentoring programme and choose to make Lancaster University one or more of their UCAS choices, will receive a “guaranteed offer” at standard level for most subject areas. To be eligible for the offer mentees must attend at least two mentoring sessions in school/college and the final day visit to Lancaster. 

To qualify for the programme mentees must be capable of achieving at least ABB level at A-level (or equivalent) and meet one or more of the following widening participation criteria:

  • Their parents must not have been to University except as mature students
  • They are in care, or a care leaver cared for by someone other than their parents
  • They received a free school meal not paid for by their family
  • They receive the 16-19 bursary
  • They have a disability they feel may limit their options for university

Residential visits

We offer a series of residentials for students in Years 11 and 12. For more information see our Summer Schools old page.

Collaborative Outreach Network

Lancaster is part of the Cumbria and Lancashire Network for Collaborative Outreach. The network consists of 4 Universities and 13 FE Colleges and aims to work collaboratively provide schools and colleges with support in accessing information about outreach and widening participation activities offered by the partner institutions.

You can find out more information about activities available through the network for school pupils age 11-16 on the dedicated website at www.cumbrialancsoutreach.ac.uk

For information on Lancaster's specific activities as part of the collaborative network, contact Ellie Vowles (Outreach Project Officer) - e.c.vowles@lancaster.ac.uk 


 For more information about outreach and widening participation please contact Leanne Bates – Assistant Head of UKSRO.