University of Worcester Wins Award for ‘Achieving Equality Through Diversity and Inclusion’

The University of Worcester has won a prestigious award recognising its commitment to breaking down barriers to opportunity and boosting social mobility.

The University was among the winners of the Purpose Coalition’s Breaking Down Barriers Awards 2023, which are split across categories for each of the 14 Purpose Goals, a framework developed by the Purpose Coalition. The Goals aim to identify the key elements that need to be in place to ensure equality of opportunity, from a child’s early years to fair recruitment processes, from closing the digital divide to harnessing the energy transition.

The University won the award for the Goal – Achieve Equality Through Diversity and Inclusion, recognising its practical and effectiveness in providing opportunities to earn a very high-quality higher education.

The University has grown partnerships locally, nationally and internationally to raise aspirations and promote inclusion and social mobility.

Throughout the 21st Century, at least 97% of the University’s students have been state educated, while two in five enter the University with non-traditional qualifications such as Btec, Foundation Year or Access to Higher Education qualifications. In 2022, the University rose to become the number one university in England (excluding specialist institutions) for sustained employment, further study, or both, for three and five years after graduation (LEO 2022).

The University has created some of the UK’s most inspiring and inclusive facilities, including the UK’s first indoor sports arena purpose-designed to include the wheelchair athlete, as well as Europe’s first fully integrated university and public library, The Hive, providing library, learning and community facilities to all in a convenient city centre location.

Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green CBE DL, said: “We are delighted to win a Purpose Coalition Breaking Down Barriers Award. This is tribute to the dedication and inspirational teaching of so many colleagues over many years.”

Worcester was described in the 2023 national Teaching Excellence Framework report as “an engine of opportunity – supporting its students to benefit from an educational experience that is personally transformative and allows them to succeed in their chosen career”.

Ofsted rates Worcester Outstanding for both Primary and Secondary teacher training. The Inspector’s report says: “Trainees benefit from an exceptional learning experience at the University of Worcester. This experience instils in them a deep-rooted commitment to making a difference to the lives of the children in the communities they serve.”

The Breaking Down Barriers Awards were sponsored by Sodexo, and the winners were announced by the Chair of the Purpose Coalition, Rt Hon Justine Greening, who is a former Cabinet Minister and Secretary of State for Education.

Justine Greening said: “At a time when the country is continuing to face economic and social challenges, it is more important than ever to shape what it means to make a positive impact. Our winners are leading the way and I want to congratulate them personally for the commitment they have shown to spreading equality of opportunity. I hope their achievements will inspire others to look at their own organisations and communities to see where they could also make a difference.”

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