David Pearson

Giving students a leg up with college partnerships

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For disadvantaged learners, the financial barriers to university can be overwhelming – but scholarships offer a solution. David Pearson says a partnership between his sixth-form college group and a finance company is giving young people the chance to get a degree – and the skills that employers want

Man in a drawing of a rocket surrounded by stars, planets and aliens – deprived students college partnerships scholarships

I met Trevor Gomes when he was an aspirational, high-performing sixth-form student with a promising career ahead of him. But he faced some significant barriers.

Gomes wanted to be the first person in his family to go to university. However, finances were a problem. Like many young people, he worked part-time to help support his family. Going to university would mean increasing his hours to fund the costs.

At best, his university experience would be a juggling act between studying and paying for it, and he would still graduate massively in debt. At worst, the financial barriers would ...

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