Hello readers

This will be my final blog entry as Linking London’s Support Officer! As of Monday I will be moving on to pastures new. But never fear! The team will blog fortnightly in my absence, until a new officer is hired to take of the mantle of our weekly update within the blogosphere.

Pearson's David MacKay at our BTEC Meeting

Pearson’s David MacKay at our BTEC Meeting

This week we held our first BTEC Practitioner meeting of the academic year, which featured presentations from Brunel,  Birkbeck’s outreach team, and Pearson UK. In addition we were delighted to welcome Hugh Joslin from the University of Greenwich, who presented some of the key findings of Linking London’s latest data report on the progression of college learners to HE, which provides data up to the academic year 2014-2015.

Did you know that:

  • 76% of the BTEC cohort in London are classified as living in an area of educational disadvantage
  • When tuition fees rose for the 2011-2012 cohort, London college learner progression fell from 58% to 45%
  • Students from the most deprived areas of London progress at a higher rate than students from our most affluent areas

Hugh will be presenting the findings of the data report after our next Board Meeting on 7th December- lunch will be provided for attendees.

On Wednesday Director Sue and Project Officer Emily attended HEFCE’s event: ‘Widening participation together: Achievements of National Networks for Collaborative Outreach’ at Prospero House. The event showcased the key achievements of the NNCO scheme, celebrating successful projects and exploring how we can sustain collaborative working going forward.

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Emily has been preparing for our own NNCO End of Project event, which will be held on 5th December, and will feature partner presentations from (among others) UEL and GSM London . We will also be launching our 4 NNCO Subject Specific guides at this event, which examine entry requirements, career prospects and course provisions for Art & Design, Business, Computing and Psychology.

Emily and Andrew continue to provide Personal Statement support to learners through both workshops and our HECAIL personal statement portal.

Andrew and I answered our third partner LMI query using our EMSI analyst tool, helping Middlesex University investigate areas of London industry and job growth.

On a final note I would like to say a HUGE thank you to all our partners for their support during my time at Linking London. Thank you for reading my blogs, tweets and news updates over the past year.

My biggest thanks go to Sue, Andrew, Emily and Stuart, who work tirelessly to fight for social mobility through education, and have been the best team I could hope to work with.

More from the team in 2 weeks. Goodbye all, and good luck for the future.



It is now only 6 weeks until Christmas, but our term-time projects are still very much in full swing. Last week we held our final NNCO subject specific event: Spotlight on Computing. In spite of a last minute relocation due to a local power outage, attendance was good, and feedback on the presenters from UEL, LSBU and IBM was extremely positive

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The deadline for the second NCOP submission has been and gone, and we are now awaiting further feedback from HEFCE. In the meantime Emily (NNCO Project Officer) and Sue (Director) gave a presentation at the AoC HE Coordinators meeting, providing attendees with updates on the final stages of the NNCO and our plans for the NCOP (which officially starts in January 2017).

Sue also attended the Universities UK Action on Access Conference on the recent social mobility report. The event featured presentations from (among many others) HEFCE, The Open University, and King’s College.




Further to their personal statement surgeries in previous weeks, Emily and Andrew (Deputy Director and IAG specialist) have been busy preparing to hold a workshop and one-to-one sessions at City and Islington College for learners interested in studying Nursing, Midwifery or Allied Health Courses at HE level.

Emily and I have continued work on the NNCO subject specific guides to Art & Design, Business, Computing and Psychology, which we will launch at our Linking London NNCO End of Project Event on the 5th  December. Places are still available if you wish to attend .

Finally, you may have noticed a new feature on our NNCO website HECAIL – Andrew is now penning an article each month for the website, drawing on his vast IAG experience. So far he has given his thoughts on entry requirements, the new UCAS tariff and the progression of Access learners: read the articles in full here.

More on Friday from myself and the team.



What a week it has been! London has been rather chilly these last few days, but that has not stopped us from getting out and about! On Monday (Halloween) we held our first Access Practitioner Group Meeting of the academic year, which featured presentations from OCN London and SOAS University.  Delegates discussed the UCAS tariff and its impact on entry requirements for Access Learners, and shared examples of good practice


On Wednesday and Friday Andrew (Deputy Director) and Emily (NNCO Project Officer) visited City and Islington College, where they ran a personal statement surgery for BTEC learners. Between them they helped 21 students improve their draft statements!

Thursday was the day of the much anticipated HE in London Student awards. Emily Sue and Andrew attended the event on behalf of Linking London, as we are one of the three networks who support HE in London.  Emily described the event as follows:

“The Awards celebrated and recognised the achievements of 20 learners from London schools and colleges who have successfully progressed to university, despite the many challenges and barriers they faced along the way. Learners received a certificate to recognise their achievements which was presented by Wes Streeting, Labour MP for Ilford North. They each received a £500 cheque to help them with cost of their higher education courses, which was made possible through a generous anonymous donation to this project via the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Learners were joined by their proud guests, tutors, advisers and teachers to help celebrate their achievements.”


And on a final note I am sad to say I will be leaving Linking London later this month to start a new job at Sky! I will be writing a few more blogs for reader yet, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners, and most especially the Linking London team, for giving me such a wonderful opportunity . A new graduate intern will be hired later this year, and the job is advertised on the Birkbeck website.

More news from myself and the team next week.