The Norfolk Scholars Programme targets high achieving students in Years 10 and 12 who are from backgrounds traditionally less likely to go to university.
It is a joint four year initiative with Villiers Park Educational Trust (based in Foxton, Cambridgeshire) to help improve the social mobility of this particular group, improve academic attainment and encourage them to apply to leading universities or other centres of excellence e.g. higher apprenticeships. Established programmes run by Villiers Park have excellent student progression rates to higher education e.g. 74% of Scholars achieved A*-B grades (national average 53%) and 63% gained a place at a leading university.
Seven local Norfolk-based schools are signed up to the programme with the aim of having 30-35 Scholars in each year group participating in the programme i.e. total of 60 Scholars.
Scholars are initially put forward for consideration by their school and must meet selection criteria set by Villiers Park, as well as successfully completing a mini interview.
Scholars meet regularly with UEA-employed Learning Mentors on a one-to-one or group mentoring basis every two-three weeks during term time. They will also have the opportunity to mix with other Scholars whilst taking part in activities at UEA, in local schools and at Villiers Park residential centre.
Scholars also have access to online resources and e-mentors, who are allocated on the basis of their subject of interest.