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Uni boost for disadvantaged kids in Birmingham

Teenagers in Birmingham and the West Midlands are being given the opportunity to work with university academics in a bid to increase opportunities to go to university and improve their job prospects.

The charity In2scienceUK has struck a deal with the University of Birmingham, which will see Year 12 students being given work placements in the university’s STEM departments (science, technology, engineering and maths).

According to In2scienceUK, the West Midlands is one of the poorest regions in England. The charity hopes the scheme will help address the significant shortfall in young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in the region applying to university and STEM courses.

Dr Clare Ray, from the University of Birmingham, said:

We are hoping that the placements will inspire and support students currently underrepresented in higher education to consider pursuing study and careers in these important areas for the development of our region and the whole country.

In2scienceUK, which was founded in 2010 by a former teacher from an East London school, has already worked with more than 300 schools across the country, supporting more than 1,000 students, most of whom successfully apply to university.

As well as receiving mentoring from science and engineering professionals at the university, the students will participate in public engagement competitions and receive guidance on university applications to inspire them towards careers in STEM.

Dr Rebecca McKelvey, CEO & Founder of In2ScienceUK commented:

There is an enormous amount of untapped potential among disadvantaged young people who often remain overlooked, but who could hold the key to addressing the current shortfall in STEM-skilled workers within the UK. We are on a mission to address this by creating new routes for them to have the same opportunities to enter the best institutions in the country.

The partnership with the University of Birmingham follows similar deals the charity has struck with the Royal Society, University College London and the Science Museum.

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