Imperial (@imperialcollege) has launched two new initiatives to engage Black heritage UK students with higher education.

The Outreach Seed Fund for Recruiting Black Students supports the College's current students to develop and deliver outreach initiatives targeted at connecting Black UK school students with Imperial's research and education.

Imperial has also launched STEM Futures, a multi-year programme which enables London’s Black-heritage secondary school and sixth form students to explore STEM.

The new initiatives add to the College’s efforts to break down barriers for Black and other underrepresented students. Earlier this year, the College announced £10million of funding dedicated to improving diversity at Imperial, which included a new set of scholarships for Black-heritage students.

We hope that STEM Futures and the Seed Fund will allow more Black students to experience what life at Imperial is about and will encourage them to consider applying to the CollegeAndrew TebbuttDirector of Outreach

The two new initiatives form part of Imperial’s commitment to double the intake of UK Black-heritage students by 2025, as set out in the College’s Access and Participation Plan [pdf].

Andrew Tebbutt, Director of Outreach at Imperial said:

“These new initiatives underline the College’s commitment to reach out to Black-heritage students, who are particularly underrepresented at Imperial when accounting for its London location.

“We hope that STEM Futures and the Seed Fund will allow more Black students to experience what life at Imperial is about and will encourage them to consider applying to the College.”

Inspiring the next generation of Black students

The Outreach Seed Fund for Recruiting Black Students gives all Imperial students an opportunity to plan and implement outreach initiatives.

We’re really excited to give students an opportunity to develop their own initiatives and can’t wait to see what they produceHanna JamaDiversity and Inclusion Programme Officer

By applying for the Seed Fund, students have the chance to engage with pre-university Black-heritage students and become role models to them.

The Seed Fund aims to support proposals which will demystify the process of applying to university, offer support in STEM subjects and inspire students to apply to Imperial.

Hanna Jama, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Coordinator from Imperial’s Student and Outreach team helped established the fund. She said: “We know how passionate Imperial students are about widening participation and supporting Black-heritage school students to explore STEM degrees and careers. We’re really excited to give students an opportunity to develop their own initiatives and can’t wait to see what they produce.”

A total of £5,000 is available in this year’s fund. Students can request funding in the range of £100-£1,000 for their ideas. Applications for the Seed Fund are now open and will close on 19 November 2021.

Widening representation in STEM

Imperial’s new STEM Futures programme offers a series of workshops and activities for Black-heritage students in London in year 10 and year 12. The four-year programme aims to help students discover the wide range of subjects within STEM and provide support with university applications.

Students on the programme will experience a mix of online and in-person activities taking place on Imperial’s South Kensington and White City Campuses. Led by Imperial teaching fellows and postgraduate students, sessions will include masterclasses in STEM subjects, lectures, advice on studying STEM subjects at university, and personal development workshops.

Year 12 students can apply now for the programme, and applications for year 10 students will open in the first week of November.

The Outreach Team is also encouraging new applications for recruitment and outreach student ambassadors to assist with these programmes. Applications are particularly welcome from students who have an insight and understanding of the educational experience of school students from Black British backgrounds and the barriers they face in accessing higher education. The next information session will be held in February 2022. Complete the team's expression of interest to receive more information.

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