1. Transforming students’ lives – 2015
‘Halesowen College has been involved with the A2B Scheme for
a number of years and we have seen a great number of our students
progress onto university because of it.
‘The initiative is extremely important for students who have
to potentially overcome challenging personal circumstances to even
get to a position where they can think about going to university – for
these students this Scheme is like a lifeline. The entry offer that A2B
students receive remains challenging, and the A2B Scholarship
serves to motivate students to go on and often exceed their
Paul Bywater, Careers Manager, Halesowen College
‘Most of our students come from families
and communities who have a very low
progression into higher education.
Due to socio-economic factors our students’
only opportunity of progressing into higher education
would be at a local university.
‘The A2B Scheme at Birmingham has made a Russell Group
university accessible to our students. It has helped raise their
aspirations and attainment. It’s inspiring to see our past students who
have received A2B Scholarships return to speak about the truly
life-changing opportunity that the Scheme provides and to support
current students in the university application process.’
Pritpal Hyare, Assistant Head, Bordesley Green Girls’ School
‘We are delighted that in 2015 more than
350 students will join the University
through the Access to Birmingham (A2B)
Scheme. For those students who achieve
our standard entry grades, the A2B
Scholarship genuinely provides
a life-changing opportunity. It supports
students not only in their purchase
of essential course books and materials, but also
to engage more fully in the university experience.
‘I am sure that in the coming years, the removal of maintenance grants
will make this Scholarship even more sought after. It will encourage
students to work as hard as they can to achieve the entry
qualifications they need to join us and benefit from all that a degree
and student experience at the University of Birmingham have to offer.’
Gail Rothnie, Head of Outreach.
‘The A2B Scheme gave me the confidence
to apply to the University of Birmingham.
It made me feel comfortable with the idea
of studying at University before I started, and opened
up a world of possibilities.
The Scheme made me believe that anything is possible!’
Lexi Hemming (BSc Geography, final year)
The University of Birmingham was founded on the belief
that education should be available to those who could
benefit most. We know that capable, talented and driven
students have the ability to succeed, irrespective
of their background.
Your investment in generations of students is priceless.
We hope you will continue to give your generous support
for years to come.
What Your Support
Means to UsWhat Your Support Means to Us
What Your Support
Means to Me
2. ‘Interest in the new University
of Birmingham School has been
phenomenal. We received 399
applications from Year 7 pupils and parents who listed the School
as their first choice alone. This academic year, places at the School
have been the most sought after of any comprehensive school
‘Our School was founded to provide outstanding education,
regardless of each pupil’s socio-economic background, and I’m
delighted that we are well on the way to achieving that. Our Year
7 pupils come from 62 different primary schools, and our A-Level
students from 66 secondary schools.
‘We are excited to have close links with the University, including
Professor Scott Sturgeon (Professor of Philosophy) facilitating
a lunch time philosophy club and World Championship medallist
Hannah England (BSc Biochemistry, 2009) holding a lunch time
running group. We’re incredibly excited about the future and looking
forward to continuing to build active links with the University.
‘On behalf of the whole School community that’s here this year, and
in the future, thank you so much for your generosity. You really are
making a difference to the lives of thousands of pupils from all types
Mike Roden, Principal of the University of Birmingham School
‘It’s been fantastic to begin teaching
at the School and to see the new
pupils come through the doors.
They have all been thrilled
to be here, taking responsibility and
putting their suggestions forward.
‘The enrichment programmes are a really important part of the day,
which is something that pulled me to the job. It means the School
won’t just be an exam machine, but that we can contribute to the
pupils’ character education which will help to prepare them for the
‘Part of that process is the School’s central atrium (pictured above),
where pupils are encouraged to meet and eat together, alongside
the staff. It provides a sense of community and is already having
a positive effect on the pupils.’
Ruth Till (BSc Geography, 2010; PGDip Ed, 2011; MEd 2013),
Geography Subject Leader
‘What excites me about the School is the
opportunity for trainee teachers from the
University to be trained in a live context.
Trainee teachers will be closely involved in a school not just for short
periods of training, but will have the opportunity to interact with
pupils over a far longer period during their time at the University.
The pupils have a school specially designed and built to cater to the
delivery of teaching and learning using the best tools available
today, with access to outstanding facilities. I am really looking
forward to seeing education and teacher training remodelled
through this very close collaboration between the School and
Kathleen Chew (LLB Law, 1981), Donor to the
University of Birmingham School
On 10 September, term started for the new
University of Birmingham School. Alongside 200
Sixth-formers, 150 Year Seven students from Selly Oak,
Hall Green, Small Heath and Jewellery Quarter took their first
steps in the classrooms and began their
The School will help its diverse community
of students – drawn from four inner city areas
where there is an acute shortage of secondary
school places - to raise their ambitions and
support them in progression to higher education
by championing character development
alongside a rigorous curriculum of academic
subjects. Access to world-class facilities on
campus, including the Bramall Music Building
and new Sport Centre (opening Spring
2016), will provide an unparalleled educational
experience for the first cohort of students.
Continuing the pioneering spirit on which the
University was built over a hundred years ago,
this is the first secondary University Training
School in the country. The School will be
a national centre for initial and ongoing teacher
education, and training and research into
improving educational practices.
Means to us
What Giving Means to me
3. Student Support Programme Glossary
Academic Enrichment Programme (AEP) – To encourage and
support year 12 and 13 students, who have no family history of higher
education, to apply to a leading research university.
Access to Birmingham (A2B) Scheme – Provides students from the
West Midlands who have no, or little, family experience
of studying at university the support to apply to Birmingham. A2B
applicants complete a pre-induction module and receive
an alternative offer entry requirement.
Gateway Internships – A bursary to enable A2B students
to undertake internships or work experience that may otherwise not be
possible due to the cost.
‘The A2B Scheme means a great deal to me and has given me access to outstanding opportunities!
The Scholarship has covered my travel expenses so I could volunteer and gain useful work experience
at a homeless shelter and at an archives office without having to worry about the cost. It has also enabled
me to complete an internship during the summer, which will help me to choose a career path once
Mandeep Thandi (BA History, second year)
‘I’m the first in my family to attend a Russell Group university. The support I received through the A2B Scheme
enabled me to achieve my ambitions and pursue higher education. The Scholarship was particularly useful
in facilitating my studies at university; it provided funding for essential books, travel, and enabled me to seize
opportunities that would otherwise not have been open to me.
I am now a Senior Associate at Deloitte working in Financial Advisory Transaction Services, a role I was
introduced to when Deloitte hosted a session during the Academic Enrichment Programme. I am immensely
grateful for all the support that A2B has given me.’
Laura Neads (LLB Law with Business Studies, 2014)
‘I had a great time while I was at the University of Birmingham and really felt that university helped me to prepare
for my chosen career, as well as to make the transition from living with my family to living independently. I chose
to support AEP as it gives me the chance to support young people who may not otherwise feel able to pursue
the opportunities which going to university can provide. It’s also wonderful to give back to a University that
made me feel so welcome as a student.’
Sarah Horne (BSocSc Money Banking and Finance, 1994), Head of Finance Projects at The
Cooperative Group, Donor to Academic Enrichment Programme
‘I support A2B because I was lucky. Lucky to be raised by a wonderful mother in a single parent family.
Lucky to be encouraged by her to be the first in our family to go to university. Lucky to be a student in
an era of full grants without which University would have been out of bounds for me.
So I want to share some of that good luck with others who might be less fortunate in today’s
Adrian Bland (LLB Law, 1977), Head of Commercial Real Estate
at Shakespeare Martineau, Donor to A2B and the new library
Your Support Helps Students to Succeed
What Your Support Means to Us
What Giving Means to us