News archive: 2013

IU runners don Santa suits for 2013 Santa Run

December 2013

On Sunday 8th December, 25 runners took part in the 2013 Santa Run in Victoria Park to raise money for IntoUniversity. It was a great day and some very impressive times were recorded! We would like to thank everyone who ran for IU, as well as everyone who came down to cheer along our runners.

Third edition of aspire published

November 2013 

The third edition of our new publication aspire has now been published. Highlights from this issue include an interview with John Stone of the Stone Family Foundation, a closer look at Impact Assessment in the Charity Sector, the results of our Student Survey 2013, and much more. You can read the full edition here. As always if you have any comments about the publication, if you would like to request a hard copy or if you would like to contribute to future editions, please email Sophie at

Royal Parks runners raise over £10,000 forIntoUniversity

October 2013

Fifteen runners who ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon forIntoUniversity raised an impressive sum of over £10,000. This fantastic group of runners was made up of eight members of the CFA Society of the UK, a team of six from Goldman Sachs and one IU staff member. We are extremely grateful to all our runners for taking part in the event and for their continuing support for IntoUniversity. Thank you!

IntoUniversity shortlisted for Children and Young People's Charity Award

September 2013

We are very pleased to announce that IntoUniversity has been shortlisted for the Children and Young People's Charity Award, part of the Children and Young People Now Awards 2013. These awards, now in their eighth year, aim to recognise the contribution made by organisations and individuals working with children, young people and families. The awards ceremony will be held on 27 November at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, London. 

IU Centres awarded QiSS Established Status

July 2013

We were delighted to find out that all of IntoUniversity's centres have been awarded QiSS Established status. This is a nationally recognised quality assurance scheme which is open to different types of education providers, and has been developed by Canterbury Christ Church University in partnership with the Department of Education. By awarding us this mark, QiSS has recognised our achievements in raising attainment and achievement, engaging learners with a variety of needs and significantly improving behaviour and attendance. 


Ian Durrant, a Senior Lecturer with QiSS, said that the charity had been recognised in this way because:


'IntoUniversity is clearly a proactive and innovative organisation, committed to providing a wide variety of opportunities to young people. Their staff are carefully selected and trained, sharing a common ethos, ensuring their students fulfill their potential. The impact of IntoUniversity  is not only academic, but personal and social, its students gaining the confidence to succeed as well as the desire to contribute to their communities and society as a whole. We are pleased to recognise the high quality of their provision and award them QiSS status.'  

You can read more about our impact and see a list of previous awards here.

Backing Youth Reception at Buckingham Palace

July 2013

On 9th July 2013 we were lucky enough to be invited by HRH The Duke of York to attend the launch of his ‘Backing Youth’ initiative.  A Reception for 150 guests was hosted at Buckingham Palace, with the aim of raising the profile of 14 chosen social enterprises to leading business figures within the UK.  All of the organisations selected shared the common goal of supporting children and young people in the UK.  Several hundred corporate organisations were represented on the night, so this was a fantastic opportunity for the chosen charities to raise their profile, make new contacts, and take steps towards initiating new corporate partnerships.

Each charity was able to send one member of staff and two young people.  Rachel Carr attended on behalf ofIntoUniversity, accompanied by two students Mohamad Hussain (IU Brent) and Shaimaa Zair (IU Haringey).  As part of the evening, students from Hackney UTC made a short film on the chosen Social Enterprises. The students achieved a great result given that they only had three weeks for filming and editing, and you can watch the finished piece here.

IntoUniversity featured in Times Higher Education magazine

June 2013

We were delighted when Times Higher Education published a lovely piece about our work with primary schools. Journalist Jack Grove visited our centre in Hackney Downs, where he interviewed Year 6 students taking part in a FOCUS week. Students were engaged in creating their FOCUS leaves, where they write about what degree they want to study, where they want to go to university and what career they would like to pursue. They then read out their aspirations to their classmates before pinning their leaves to the University Tree. It is a fantastic exercise which encourages students to think about the vast array of opportunities open to them, even though university is still a long way off. 

We believe in the importance of working with children in the primary years if we are to have a decisive impact upon their futures. This something which has recently been supported by Professor Les Ebdon and OFFA, and we were pleased to see our work with younger students receiving further coverage. IntoUniversity is unique in that it follows students through every stage of their education, starting with our Academic Support sessions in Year 2 and Primary FOCUS programme for Years 5 and 6, and ending with our Corporate Mentoring Scheme which provides support for our students during their first year of university. 

Second edition of aspire published

June 2013

The second edition of our new publication aspire has now been published. This issue contains an article by former IU student Judith Welikala on her Oxbridge experience, a feature by UNITE Group CEO Mark Allan on Widening Particiaption, our Key Stage 2 impact data and much, much more. You can read the full edition here, and as always if you have any comments about the publicationif you would like to request a hard copy, or if you would like to contribute to future editions, please email Sophie 

Volunteering Celebration 2013

June 2013

On Thursday 6th June we celebrated the contribution of our volunteers to the charity and thanked them for the support they give us in raising young people's aspirations and achievements. We would not be able to run our programmes without the help of the undergraduates, corporates and local people who give so generously of their time - this year over 800 volunteers have supported thousands of our students across our centres in London, Nottingham and Bristol.

The event was very kindly hosted by our corporate partners BlackRock, who themselves have provided 27 volunteers from all levels of the organisation this year. We had the pleasure of hearing from Mary Ann Sieghart, a broadcaster and journalist who is also a member of our Advisory Panel, James Charrington, BlackRock's Chairman for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Connor Russell, an IU Mentor, Buddy and Student Ambassador who was recently nominated for LSE Volunteer of the Year. The event was also the 'premiere' of our latest video about volunteering with IntoUniversity, which can be viewed on our YouTube channel. You can see photos from the evening on the IU Blog.

Sir Steve Redgrave visits IntoUniversity Nottingham East

May 2013

On Thursday 16th May Secondary AS students from both our Nottingham Centres had the excitement of welcoming Sir Steve Redgrave to IU Nottingham East. Students took part in a variety of activities centred on the theme of 'Achieving your Potential'. Each activity related to a different quality needed to be successful: Vision (creating a Vision Board), Creativity (the 'Potato Challenge'), Courage (blindfolded food tasting), Determination (using positive self-talk when completing challenges), and Teamwork (building newspaper towers).  Sir Steve joined in the activities, before talking to students about how he was inspired to take up rowing by a schoolteacher and about the hard work you need to put in to achieve your dreams.

To see more photographs from the afternoon, please visit theIU blog.


An audience with Cherie Booth

May 2013

On Monday 13th May students from across the IntoUniversity network visited Matrix Chanbers to hear from their CEO, Lindsay Scott, and Cherie Booth in order to gain an insight into the Law. 

We were given a very warm welcome by Lindsay, who told us about her own career in law and about Matrix Chambers. Cherie then held a Q&A session where students were able to quiz her on her education and experience of university, her career, and the skills and qualities needed to be a successful lawyer. 

You can read a more in depth account of the afternoon on theIU blog.

IntoUniversity named LSE Voluntary Organisation of the Year 2013

May 2013

LSE Voluntary Organisation of the year 2013 <strong>Into</strong>University

We're delighted to annouce that IntoUniversity has been named Voluntary Organisation of the Year 2013 by the LSE Careers Volunteer Centre. This is a new award which recognises the work of the university's charity partners in managing LSE students and enabling them to make real social change whilst at university. 

We are so pleased that LSE students enjoy their time volunteering with us, as we wouldn't be able to deliver our programmes without them! Particular congratulations should go to Connor Russell, an IU Mentor, Buddy, and Student Ambassador who was nominated for LSE Volunteer of the Year. You can read more about the work he does for us here.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please visit ourVolunteering Pages.

A volunteer's experience of IntoUniversity

May 2013

Here at IntoUniversity we're so grateful for our dedicated network of volunteers, without whom we would not be able to deliver our programmes. We love it when we hear that our volunteers have enjoyed their time with us, which is why we were delighted when Praveen Menon from Nomura offered to write a guest blog post about his time volunteering on one of our Business in FOCUS sessions. You can read about his experience here.

IntoUniversity launches in Bristol

April 2013


On Monday 29th April, IntoUniversity Bristol East celebrated its official launch. The centre, which is based in the Old Library on Trinity Road, welcomed students and supporters for the occasion. It was wonderful to see the centre filled with so many old friends and new faces. The centre is our first in the city, and marks the latest step in our national expansion.
During the speeches we heard from IU CEO Rachel Carr, Year 10 student Jacob, Emma, a mentor from the University of Bristol, her mentee, Amara, and Professor Eric Thomas, Vice-Chancellor of the University and our new trustee. The ribbon was cut by the Vice-Chancellor and some of our students. Please click here to see the rest of the photos from the evening. 


IntoUniversity featured in the Guardian for its Impact Measurement 

April 2013

We were delighted to see that IntoUniversity has been featured in an article in the Guardian on using impact measurement to boost effectiveness. The piece notes our recent inclusion in the NPC report Making An Impact, where we feature as an example of how to monitor impact to improve performance. 

Collecting impact data is something IntoUniversity has always placed great importance in: as the article highlights, we use it to work out how to adapt our programmes to boost student retention. 

Measuring the effect our work has on students is not without its difficulties, but we find that producing key statistics such as the proportion of our students who progress to Higher Education (77.1%) compared with the national average (34%) is crucial in helping us prove the transformative effect of our work to IU staff, our supporters, and school and university partners. 

Indeed, the recent NPC analysis of our work describes us as 'one of the best-run organisations that NPC has seen', in part because of the 'increasing evidence of its impact'. 

Read our Impact Report here

IntoUniversity launches new publication

February 2013

IntoUniversity’s fundraising team have launched a new, termly publication, aspire.  aspire combines the latest information about our charity along with a range of pieces to further engage our supporters with ‘the bigger picture’ of the issues that IntoUniversity tackles, and which our young people face.   

The first edition includes an interview with Dr Ros Smith and Steve Edwards about their philanthropy in the widening participation sector, reflections by a mentor and mentee on their work together, a piece about the set-up of our new centre in Nottingham, and an editorial by ex-Times Assistant Editor Mary-Ann Sieghart. 

Please click here to read the first editionWe very much hope you enjoy it.  If you have any comments about the publication,if you would like to request a hard copy, or if you would like to contribute to future editions, please email Sophie

OFFA Director Professor Les Ebdon suggests that more universities should start working with 7 year olds

January 2013

Citing education charity IntoUniversity as an example of best practice, Professor Les Ebdon has for the first time urged universities to consider how they will work to raise aspirations and academic attainment among children from as young as seven.  

To find out more, please see the press releases from IntoUniversity and OFFA