The UK's first academy to be sponsored by a university, Nottingham University Samworth Academy (Nusa), opened its doors to pupils last week. The academy will serve the Bilborough area of Nottingham - which has one of the lowest rates of participation in higher education in the country - and the university will be involved in developing apprenticeship and work-placement schemes, as well as supporting those who aim to go to university. The curriculum includes special themed days of hands-on activities, where children will work alongside university staff and students. The project is a joint venture between Nottingham and David Samworth, a local businessman, who is also co-sponsoring two other academies locally. Nusa will eventually be housed in a £24 million government-funded building, which is currently under construction and due for completion in September 2010.