We wholeheartedly agree with Brian Cox that organisations need to work together to widen participation (“Universities are gold mines and we must better extract their value”, News, 18 September). We also recognise the need to increase the number of students in science, technology, engineering and maths subjects to meet employers’ demands.
At Villiers Park Educational Trust, we are launching the 2020 STEM Scholars Programme, targeted at highly able students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It is designed to give individual support to students in their schools, enabling them to fulfil their academic potential and gain STEM places at university. The programme is a collaboration between three educational charities - Villiers Park Educational Trust, the Smallpeice Trust and the Arkwright Scholarships Trust - sponsored by ARM plc, a Cambridge-based multinational semiconductor and software-design company. It is free of charge to participating students and their schools.
For Villiers Park, this is the third regional Scholars Programme we have launched, but the first with a subject-specific cohort. We are seeking more partners and more areas to work in, and would welcome contact from any interested parties.
Director of development and external relations
Villiers Park Educational Trust