Who got that job?

July 29, 2005

Martin Webster

Outreach manager, Nottingham Trent University

Advertised in The Times Higher , January 14, 2005

It would be difficult to find anyone more fervent about a job than Martin Webster, outreach manager at Nottingham Trent University.

"I passionately believe in this work," he said. "I did not have a good experience of education when I was at school, and I became a financial adviser instead of going to university."

But in 1997, Mr Webster decided to change careers and went to Liverpool Hope University to study psychology and sociology.

"Once I'd had my passionate realisation that I could go to university, I wanted to inspire others to do it as well," he said.

Nottingham Trent is one of the institutions at the forefront of the widening-participation movement in the UK and was one of the first to look beyond its doors and engage with pupils in primary schools.

"Most statistics show that the biggest stumbling block stopping people going to university is poor attainment at GCSE level," Mr Webster said. "So we are helping to support schools in their attempts to raise attainment. We have a large number of students volunteering to go into classrooms, and we know teachers are very keen on this."

Mr Webster manages a team of ten people, and since he started in April he has spent a lot of time meeting people.

"I'm getting lots of support. It's so important to have a line manager with a real belief in widening participation and who will fully back me."

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