The University of Worcester has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award recognising its work to ensure its Open Days are accessible to all.
The University is a finalist for the Guardian University Awards in the Widening Access and Outreach category.
The Guardian University Awards recognise some of the very best work taking place in universities across the UK.
The University of Worcester looked at a variety of ways to improve access to Open Days, aiming to support, in particular, potential students from areas of greater social deprivation, mature learners and students with a disability.
Building on existing support, the University provided transport from local colleges and developed a pilot project, working with West Midlands Trains and First Bus, to introduce free or significantly reduced fares, for prospective students attending an Open Day.
Open Day Roadshows put on by the University in a number of regional locations, recreating where possible a normal Open Day, allowed people to find out more about studying at the University and experience the event on their doorstep without the cost or inconvenience of travelling.
The University also expanded its on-campus Open Days to include impartial advice to all university applicants, including help with personal statements and free dyslexia screenings.
The University of Worcester won the Guardian’s Internationalisation award last year, in recognition of its work to share its approach to inclusive physical education and sport across the world.
It is currently shortlisted in a number of other major national awards, including seven Student Nursing Times Awards for categories including Nurse Education Provider of the Year (Pre-registration) for a remarkable sixth time, along with Best Student Experience and Teaching Innovation of the Year.
It is also in the running for two awards in the independent Whatuni Student Choice Awards, which are based on reviews submitted by students.
This follows recent success in the Times Higher Education Awards, at which the University picked up the accolade for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community for its Association for Dementia Studies’ work to develop Meeting Centres to support those living with dementia.
The work on Open Days builds on the University’s wider commitment to inclusion, which saw it ranked the number one university in the UK for both Quality Education and Gender Equality in the 2019 Times Higher University Impact Rankings. Worcester has also been ranked in the country’s top four most sustainable universities in the Green Gown Awards 2019.
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony later this year.