Sidney Sussex and University of Cambridge are delighted to announce the launch of a new HE+ hub in Stoke-On-Trent, one of Sidney's Area Link regions.

Sidney will be providing year-round support to at least 150 high achieving Year 12 students from seven local state schools and colleges to ensure that they are better informed about the academic options open to them and better prepared to make a competitive application to higher education, in particular to research-intensive universities.

HE+ is a collaborative project between the University of Cambridge and its Colleges, working together with groups of state schools and colleges in 14 regions of the UK. In the 2015-16 academic year, 3,000 Year 12 students in over 80 schools and colleges participated in the initiative.

The HE+ project is unique in that it encourages state schools and colleges to collaborate to form regional consortia and to engage their very best Year 12 students in a sustained year-long programme, including academic extension classes, subject masterclasses, information and guidance sessions, and a visit to the University.

The overall goal of the project is to encourage and prepare more academically-able students to make competitive applications to top universities, including the University of Cambridge.

Professor Stephen Toope, Cambridge’s Vice-Chancellor, attended the launch that took place at Stoke-On-Trent Sixth Form last night, and said the aim of the intitiative is to transform Stoke-On-Trent’s historically low take-up of higher education and encourage top-grade students to apply to leading universities.

Sidney is already involved in the successful HE+ programmes with participating schools in Wigan and Preston, and we are thrilled to help launch this latest initiative and to work even more closely with local state schools and colleges in Stoke-On-Trent. We look forward to working with teachers across the consortium to provide students with greater opportunities to develop their academic skills, understanding, and confidence, while also receiving advice and guidance about applying to higher education.

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