The 93% Club was founded in response to the lack of diversity in the backgrounds of those accepted to study at the University of Bristol. There has been an increasing number of reports regarding the proportionately low intake of students from state schools to the top universities in the UK. The University of Bristol has one of the lowest intakes of state school educated students in the country. Despite state schools educating 93% of teenagers, state school leavers only make up around 60% of our student body.
Students attending the University of Bristol who have come from state schools often lack the social, human or cultural capital of their more advantaged peers. This difference is particularly noticeable in the areas that make for interesting subjects of conversation at both university and graduate job interviews. These differences can often be attributed to the lack of opportunities for extra-curricular programmes available for state school students, activities which are proven to provide personal enrichment. Furthermore, state school students often do not have the same access to the strong alumni networks that are available to their privately educated peers. This lack of access can be a huge disadvantage when it comes to getting afoot-in-the-door of large companies, which has become particularly important in a world with ever more graduates.
We provide opportunities for state school students at the University of Bristol to enhance their employability skill set: CV writing and interview training workshops to give state school students the opportunity to grow their confidence when it comes to applying for jobs after graduation. We also provide state school students networking opportunities both with their peers and potential employers, as well as offering state school students access to Bristol’s local cultural and social events in order to facilitate personal enrichment.
Opportunities for the whole student body at the University of Bristol to understand why widening participation is important. We continue to host panel discussions with academics and industry representatives, focusing on improving diversity and the importance of widening participation as we strive for a fairer and more equal society.
Opportunities for UoB state school students to volunteer in the local community. We recognise the difficulties many students from local schools have in obtaining a place at top UK universities. The Club works with young people from the local area to encourage them to apply for top universities as well as offering help and guidance with UCAS applications and writing personal statements.