Swansea University launches new Academy for inclusivity and learner support

Getting more people from disadvantaged backgrounds into higher education, and improving the support provided to students: those are the aims of a new Academy to be launched at Swansea University on Thursday 21 March.

The new academy is called SAILS, the Swansea Academy of Inclusivity and Learner Support.   A priority for SAILS is to attract more people to University from disadvantaged areas, especially to study subjects that the Welsh Government has said are priorities, such as science, technology, engineering, medicine and languages.

SAILS will be providing a “gateway’ of opportunities for people in school and college and other groups in the community.   

Dr Hywel Francis MP, who will be Patron of SAILS, said:

“Swansea University has a long record in working across south west Wales to enable people who might never have thought about studying in higher education to do so.  The launch of SAILS will build on this strong record and bring forward new initiatives to benefit students, their families and the wider community.”

Professor Alan Speight, Pro-Vice Chancellor, Swansea University, who will be hosting the launch of SAILS, said:

“SAILS demonstrates the University’s enduring commitment to widening access to higher education and to ensuring students receive the highest quality support to enable them to succeed in their studies and achieve their full potential.”
SAILS will be aiming to attract and support more students like Alex Hemingway, currently a third year Law student. When she was in sixth form in 2009, Alex attended the Valleys Initiative Law Summer School.  Describing it she said:

“It gave me an insight to what university would be like and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.  Based on this experience I decided to study Law at Swansea as it made me feel like Swansea was a welcoming university with good teaching facilities.”

The launch event will be attended by senior figures from local councils, further education colleges, and organisations aimed at promoting education.