Professor Margaret House, the outgoing Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Trinity University and former Chair of GHWY’s Board, reflects on the consortium’s achievements.
Go Higher West Yorkshire (GHWY) is one of the largest and most successful collaborative FE and HE partnerships for the delivery of HE opportunities in England. It has gained a reputation in the region for developing and promoting activities to raise their awareness of, and aspiration to be a part of, the educational offers of the region, raising the attainment of underrepresented groups of students from less advantaged and diverse backgrounds.
When I first joined Leeds Trinity University in January 2013, GHWY was known as HEART (Higher Education Access Rewarding Transforming) which caused some confusion around its purpose and offer. HEART was a fraction of the size of GHWY and offered a much-reduced range of opportunities to young people in the region. We worked in a very focused way with young people in the region to provide support, advice and guidance on education and work opportunities.
Since the formation of GHWY the organisation has gone from strength to strength and has attracted significant project funding from the then Higher Education Funding Council for England and now the Office for Students. This funding has covered projects associated with widening participation in higher education and the development of degree and higher apprenticeships. The work undertaken by GHWY has made ours one of the most successful of the Uni Connect projects in England. But in addition to these externally funded projects, GHWY also works with a number of other disadvantaged user groups in the region, estranged young people and looked after young people/care leaver to name but two.
I am pleased and proud to have been the Chair of GHWY for four of my seven years as Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Trinity. The collaboration that has developed between the 13 institutions that make up its membership is a credit to us all and to the young people we are aiming to support. As I leave Leeds Trinity and the region I wish all at GHWY and the member institutions every success for the future.