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News article

York St John University launches Levelling Up Impact Report 

Published: 03 December 2021

  •   Events
  •    Vice Chancellor
3 women seated in front of a digital screen

Lindsay Whyte, Professor Karen Bryan, Rt Hon Justine Greening and Rob Hickey

The report was launched during an event at York St John’s new Creative Centre with speeches from the University’s Vice Chancellor Professor Karen Bryan, former Education Secretary Rt Hon Justine Greening and Director General International at HMT, Lindsey Whyte.  

The Levelling Up Impact Report measures York St John’s activity against the Levelling Up Goals 

Launched earlier this year by Justine Greening, the Levelling Up Goals is the UK’s first levelling up framework designed to focus efforts on driving equality of opportunity at key life stages.  

The report highlights a number of key strengths which see York St John leading the way on the levelling up agenda and spreading opportunity. These include: 

  • Positive destinations post 16 - York St John runs, or is involved with, a variety of programmes to raise aspirations and boost entry to higher education.  
  • Right advice and experiences - all degree programmes at York St John contain an element of work placement to provide the experience necessary to unlock opportunity. 
  • Open recruitment - York St John offers a comprehensive contextual admissions system which takes into account wider factors that applicants may have had to overcome. This allows a more holistic view of ability and potential. 

York St John University is a key member of a group of leading UK universities, businesses and public sector organisations - The Purpose Coalition - aiming to set a new and higher standard on boosting social mobility in the UK. 

Professor Karen Bryan OBE, Vice Chancellor of York St John University said: “At York St John University, levelling up has always been in our DNA. We believe students from all backgrounds deserve equal access to all the opportunities that higher education offers. With the right support, students who are underrepresented in higher education are often the most resilient, determined and tenacious graduates.  

“The initiatives highlighted in this report show how we support students to achieve their full potential by providing guidance, fair access, practical support and financial scholarships to reduce the barriers that some students face. We are proud to partner with the Purpose Coalition and contribute our expertise to a holistic, whole system approach to levelling up.” 

Justine Greening added: “The 14 Levelling Up Goals set out a clear framework for organisations to measure their social impact against. As one of the first universities to create an Impact Report based against this framework, York St John continues to set an example of how to be a genuine values-led organisation.  

“Moving forward York St John University’s strategic aims are based around purpose, people and place, and a desire to continue to create more educational opportunities for the communities it serves. The examples of best practice shown in this report should inspire others to do more and make a real change.” 

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