A pioneering new learning centre has officially launched in one of Glasgow’s most deprived areas.
The centre in Maryhill is part of a ground-breaking collaboration between the University of Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh and education charity IntoUniversity.
Its aim is to empower thousands of young people to achieve their academic and career ambitions.
Young people who want to be lawyers or doctors should not be held back because of where they live, is at its core.
IntoUniversity Maryhill will help bridge society’s divide and give young people the resources and support needed to achieve.
Based at The Maryhill Hub, the centre, which opened in October, will support over 1000 students per year.
Melika, aged 14, who is an S3 pupil at John Paul Academy, Glasgow, said: “When I leave school, I want to study law at university and become a lawyer.
“I think it is really good at this centre. It’s a place for you to come to concentrate on study.
“When I am at home, it is more difficult to study, as I am distracted by my phone and TV.
“Here I am able to focus on the work and staff are very helpful.”
Wiaam, aged 14, who is an S3 pupil at John Paul Academcy, Glasgow, said: “I want to be a doctor when I leave school.
“It has been really helpful to come here after school.
“Staff here have given me lots of study and helpful exams advice and top tips which will be really helpful especially for my Nat 5’s next year.”
The collaboration connects young people in Maryhill, who may never have dreamed of going to university, with two of the world’s leading Higher Education Institutions.
It is the third centre to be opened in the last year, the first two centres launching in Govan, Glasgow and Craigmillar, Edinburgh.
Both universities will be involved in all three centres in the years to come, motivated, they say, “by a shared concern for children growing up experiencing poverty and a belief in the power of education to transform young people’s lives”.
Figures show 66% of school leavers who attended existing IntoUniversity centres in 2021 went on to progress to university, compared with 26.6% of students from similar backgrounds.
The centre in Maryhill works closely with local schools and other agencies including Glasgow City Council.
It offers ground-breaking support to young people, including after-school academic support, mentoring with university students and local professionals, in-school aspiration-raising workshops and enrichment and work experience opportunities.
Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “The launch of the Maryhill learning centre marks another major milestone in helping us unlock and nurture the potential of young people, regardless of their background.
“This is an ambitious and important project, and we are proud to be part of it.
“The impact of the learning centre will create a wider benefit not only for the individuals, but also for their families and communities, the universities or colleges they might attend, and for society as a whole.”
Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor University of Glasgow, said: “While tremendous strides have been made in widening participation in recent years, there are still too many young people – particularly those who have experienced poverty – who do not see a university education as open to them.
When I leave school, I want to study law at university and become a lawyer. I think it is really good at this centre. It’s a place for you to come to concentrate on study.
Melika, aged 14
“The University of Glasgow is determined to change that, and our ground-breaking collaboration with IntoUniversity is a key part of that mission.
“We know that potentially world-changing talent exists in every community across Glasgow – and as a University and a city, we cannot allow this untapped potential go to waste.
“For the University and the city to thrive, we must empower people from across our communities to meet their full potential regardless of their background.
“The new IntoUniversity centre in Maryhill will build on the successes of the centres opened in Govan and Craigmillar last year – working with even more young people from an early age to give them the confidence to consider a university education or to support them in their ambitions into employment or further education, helping to unlock their full potential.”
Dr Rachel Carr, chief executive and co-founder of IntoUniversity, said: “We are delighted to have opened our latest learning centre in Maryhill in collaboration with the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the success of students so far, as well as looking forward to what they will achieve in the future.”
Gerry Lyons of Glasgow City Council said: “What a wonderful partnership and facility that will benefit Glasgow’s children and young people.
“Our schools strive to provide as many opportunities as possible to enhance the learning and teaching offered by our teachers and school staff and I am so excited to see how this centre and the work we will do in it resource increases our pupils’ outcomes and supports their future pathways into Higher Education.”