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Kick-Off HE

Kick-Off HE is an opportunity for young male students in Year 9, with a keen interest in sport, to help increase awareness of the accessibility of higher education, as well as the various career pathways in the sporting sector. We have been working in collaboration with Team Northumbria, to develop a full programme of activities to engage and inspire young people who may lack self-belief regarding their academic potential. Young sportsmen will have access to Rugby League and Boxing coaching sessions, showcasing the many transferable skills sport can provide through two of the region’s most successful and expanding sports.

Kick-Off HE Fixtures

  • Kick-Off HE Welcome – Wednesday 15 June 2016, 9:30am – 12:00 at Sport Central, Northumbria University
  • Kick-Off HE: Club Sessions – Week One: Monday 20 June to Friday 24 June, Week Two: Monday 4 July 2016 to Friday 8 July 2016, Half-Day Session, School Site**
  • Kick-Off HE: Final Whistle – Saturday 16 June 2016, 10am – 13:30pm at Sport Central, Northumbria University

** Schools have the chance to bring our experienced staff to their school to deliver 2 club sessions on dates most suitable for themselves. Students will be able to partake in a 2 hour coaching session in Rugby League and/or Boxing, as well as explore the professional sporting pathways of Business & Marketing, Media & Journalism or Engineering & Digital Technologies in a 1 hour HE session. Schools should pick two dates within this two week period, along with which subject workshop they would like their students to explore.

NB. The Partnership is offering this 4 event programme to 6 target schools across the region during this pilot period.

Research behind Kick-Off HE

There has been increasing research into the gender gap in participation to Higher Education. The recent ministerial letter to the Director of Fair Access to Higher Education has asked the sector to “improve participation amongst young males from lower socio-economic groups, whose participation is particularly poor”. 

Research conducted in November 2015 (BIS), identified prior attainment as the primary explanation of the gender gap, however personality or situational difference should be considered. It has also been noted that girls tend to view their school work, the importance of GCSEs, participating in post-compulsory education and attending university more positively than boys. They also recognise this much earlier than boys, who tend to recognise this too late, as boys tend to downplay their intelligence which affects attainment and achievement throughout all levels of education.

Sport is proven to engage with populations of young people often lacking in self-belief regarding academic potential and ambitions. Our aim is to provide a programme which will offer a valuable vehicle for raising aspirations amongst the groups involved and an increased awareness and positive perception of the accessibility of University education opportunities by linking sport with academic activity.

North East Raising Aspiration Partnership
Level 3, King's Gate
Newcastle University

Tel: 0191 208 3128