I was really excited to host a visit by Justine Greening, former Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, to the University on 12 October, to film the launch of Make Happen’s Levelling up report.

Lucy Murray and Justine Greening

Make Happen is a collaborative outreach program, which aims to increase the number of underrepresented students from Essex progressing to Higher Education. Led by the University of Essex, and funded through the Office for Students as part of the Uni Connect programme, the team work with schools and colleges across Essex to inspire, motivate and encourage students to achieve their potential.

Since 2017, the Make Happen team have delivered over 1600 activities, supporting over 80,000 young people in Essex. Students have been able to access a range of activities designed to support them making an informed, impartial decision about their future educational pathway. During the last 18 months they have embraced online activity and continued to support both students and their parents and carers during a period which has impacted disadvantaged students more than their peers.

Make Happen have been working with the Purpose Coalition on their Levelling up goals and will shortly be launching their Levelling up report which will detail how they are a key component of levelling up within schools and colleges in Essex.

The levelling up goals are a practical response to the agenda to level-up Britain, especially considering the impact of Covid-19 and to create a level playing field on life and job opportunities. They draw on academic and business expertise across the country and are designed to focus on key life stages, from early years through to adulthood.

Alongside filming for the launch, Justine also met with representatives from the SU to discuss their priorities for this year, schools who engage on Make Happen activity and the University’s Outreach team. Justine also met with Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Lorna Fox O’Mahony to discuss the University’s priorities for the next few years.

Make Happen’s levelling up report will be launched shortly, alongside the official Phase 2 delivery report for Make Happen (2019-2021).

Make Happen will also be supporting the Purpose Coalition's Parliamentary Reception on 8 November, where their work will be highlighted as a key part of levelling up in Essex.

For more information on the Levelling up Goals, Make Happen or the University’s Outreach activity, contact Lucy Murray, Director of Outreach, or Stephen Pomfret.