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Former Lowestoft students urged to share their experiences to help others go to university

Lowestoft Sixth Form College. Picture: Archant library.

Lowestoft Sixth Form College. Picture: Archant library.

Former students of Suffolk state secondary schools are being urged to use their experience and skills to boost current students’ chances of going to university.

The project is being run in six schools and two sixth form colleges - including Lowestoft - and is run by the national education charity Future First.

It aims to help schools build thriving alumni communities, bringing back former students with experience of higher education as positive role models so the current generation is more motivated, confident and equipped to go to university.

Those taking part are Lowestoft Sixth Form College, Mildenhall College Academy, Ipswich Academy, Northgate High School, Chantry Academy and Stoke High School in Ipswich, Felixstowe Academy and Castle Manor Academy in Haverhill.

The project is part of the Take Your Place programme, delivered by the Network for East Anglian Collaborative Outreach (neaco), which aims to increase the number of young people from underrepresented backgrounds in higher education by 2020.

The charity is urging former students of the participating schools and colleges to sign up online at https://networks.futurefirst.org.uk/register to support the programme.

Under the scheme, Future First will work with careers staff and teachers in each school to build a sustainable alumni network registering hundreds of university students and recent graduates as volunteers and engaging them to inspire thousands of today’s students.

The charity will run workshops with alumni in each school helping to inspire students about the different courses available to them and enabling them to make a more informed decision about choosing the right university for them

Christine Gilbert, executive chair of Future First said: “We are delighted to be supporting neaco’s important work in encouraging more young people in the area to benefit from the many opportunities higher education can bring. Future First helps schools and colleges build and use a network of their former students in active support of the current generation. Alumni are unique because of their connection with current students. The young people in these schools will truly benefit from working with former students, who will show them what’s possible from a future in higher education and open their eyes to a world beyond their own.”

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