Coming from school

We are keen to raise aspirations for school pupils of all ages and stages and from all backgrounds. Our university students are judged on their ability and potential, not where they come from. That is why we work with primary and secondary schools across the country both individually and through recognised schools programmes.  

There are a number of schools programmes we currently work with that are part of the national Schools for Higher Education Programme (SHEP). These programmes support regional collaboration between schools, colleges and universities to increase progression from schools to higher education. Each group works with schools to raise aspirations and awareness of the opportunities available to the students they work with. There are four regional groups: - 

  • LEAPS – Lothian Equal Access Partnership for Schools – this is our local regional group and we are an active participant in the work LEAPS undertakes. We have also signed up to the LEAPS pledge which means that we will try, wherever possible, to make a conditional offer of a place to LEAPS eligible students who have the ability to get the required grades. 
  • Aspire North – this group works in the north of Scotland 
  • Lift Off – this group works in Fife and Tayside 
  • Focus West – this group works in the west of Scotland 

Teachers - we would love to work with your school. Just get in touch with our Widening Participation Manager, Tracey Kerr, to find out how we can help – tracey.kerr@hw.ac.uk

Am I a widening access student? 

If you’re at high school and you can answer yes to one of the questions below then we would consider you a wider access student. This is important when you come to apply to university as it means that you might be able to get an adjusted, or contextual, offer of entry to a degree programme. You can find the official stuff in our Fair Access Policy

Here are the questions: - 

  • Do you live in a priority postcode region? This is often referred to as a SIMD20 or SIMD40 postcode. If you’re not sure, you can look at the government information map to find out more:
    1. Type your postcode in the ‘area finder’ box on the left of the map
    2. Click ‘Go’ and then hover over the yellow marker for your house
    3. Look at the box on the right – just underneath the big box with population information in it there’s some text. If you see the words ‘quintile 1’ then you live in an SIMD20 postcode. If you see the words ‘quintile 2’ then you live in an SIMD40 postcode.
  • Are you care experienced? See our care experienced students webpage.
  • Are you part of a LEAPS or SHEP programme? Use the links above to find out more 
  • Do you have caring responsibilities? See our young and adult carers webpage
  • Are you estranged? See our estranged students webpage
  • Do you qualify for either Free School Meals (FSM) or Education Maintenance Allowance?