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Vice-Chancellor joins Social Mobility Advisory Group



Vice-Chancellor joins Social Mobility Advisory Group

Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, has become a member of a new Social Mobility Advisory Group launched recently to provide advice to the government and support for English universities to improve access and long-term success for under-represented groups in higher education.

Universities UK (UUK) launched the new group recently following the government’s announcement to improve social mobility in a number of areas of society including universities, the armed forces and the police by 2020.

The Social Mobility Advisory Group, which will be chaired by the Chief Executive of UUK, Nicola Dandridge, will include representation from vice-chancellors, schools, colleges, government, employers and participation practitioners. The group will publish a report in the summer which will be given to the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP.

Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Wolverhampton, said:  “As a University with a long history of increasing and widening participation in higher education, it’s a real privilege to be asked to share our knowledge of creating opportunities and make a valuable contribution to improving social mobility.

Vice Chancellor Geoff Layer is appointed to Social Mobility Group

“In its work, the group will look at the entire student journey, from aspirations at school, to the process of applying to university, through to career progression once students graduate. The group will also consider the options available for people later in life, such as for those who need to develop their skills as their job changes or those who were unable to attend university when they were younger.”

Commenting on the launch of the group, Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive of UUK, said: “Student decisions about what to study and where must reflect their ambitions and aspirations and not their social background or where they live. It is important that their decisions take into account the full diversity of our universities and the range of courses on offer.  Universities are committed to making higher education available to anyone who can benefit, regardless of their background.”


Membership of the Social Mobility Advisory Group will include:

  • Nicola Dandridge (advisory group chair), Chief Executive, Universities UK
  • Shirley Atkinson, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Sunderland
  • Gaenor Bagley, Head of People, Community and Sustainability, PwC
  • Anne-Marie Canning, Director of Widening Participation (Student Lifecycle), King's College London
  • Professor Joy Carter, Vice-Chancellor, University of Winchester
  • Charlotte DuBern, Deputy Director of Higher Education, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • Megan Dunn, President, National Union of Students
  • Les Ebdon, Director, Office for Fair Access
  • Allan Foulds, President, Association of School and College Leaders
  • Nicholas Glossop, Head of Inclusion and Learning Support, BPP University
  • Gerry Godley, Principal and Managing Director, Leeds College of Music
  • Peter Horrocks, Vice-Chancellor, The Open University
  • Professor Geoff Layer, Vice-Chancellor, University of Wolverhampton
  • Chris Millward, Director  (Policy), Higher Education Funding Council for England
  • Mike Nicholson, Chair of the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association, and Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions, University of Bath
  • Professor Sir Steve Smith, Chair of UCAS, and Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, University of Exeter
  • Professor John Storan, Director of Continuum, Centre for Widening Participation Policy Studies, University of East London
  • Professor Mary Stuart, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lincoln


For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 322003/322736

Date Issued: 4th February 2016

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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