Once we’d got the letter saying that we’d got into university, that’s when we thought the educational inequality and social inequality ended. When I got to university, it became apparent within the first three weeks that this wasn’t the case. University of Bristol, Law graduate

Educating All is an innovative, youth led research project exploring institutional and personal barriers faced by working class young people at UK universities. The project is run by young people with direct experience of the challenge faced in the higher education system, giving greater insight into the issues raised by research participants.

We are working to break down some of the barriers faced by working class young people at universities, aiming to level the playing field for all students to excel and succeed.  We are unique in foregrounding the voices of working class students in identifying potential solutions to improve well-being and retention within university.

Why are we doing this? 

Despite efforts by successive governments, employers and educators to put social mobility higher on the public agenda, social and educational inequalities are still major issues in our country. It is too often the case that our education system entrenches rather than eliminates inequality. Not only are working class young people less likely to go to university in the first place, they are also more likely to drop out and less likely to achieve the highest degree classifications once they are there.

In my first year at university I felt so isolated, I felt like I wasn’t prepared I almost dropped out of university in my first year because I felt I wasn't prepared for this. University of Bristol, Law graduate

What are we doing? 

Educating All aims to address the barriers and disadvantage faced by working class young people at universities past the point of access, and has undertaken initial research to produce a report.  The Educating All report highlights case studies and examples of lived experiences of working class young people at university and makes key recommendations to universities, focused on improving the retention, attainment and well-being of their working class students.

Having conducted research across a number of universities with a wide range of working class students, Educating All will be working with individual university partners to create tailored solutions to improve the recruitment, retention, attainment and well-being of working class students. This process will be facilitated by Educating All but, using the RECLAIM model, will be led by the working class students of our partner institution(s), empowering them to create transformational change that affects both their own university experience and those of future students.

If you are interested in finding out more, or accessing our support, please get in touch at educatingall@reclaimproject.org.uk

Find the report here.