In August 2012 the University worked with Hillcroft Residential College for Women to create an innovative and ground breaking performing arts course ‘Creative Gateway’
This exciting collaboration lead to a nomination for the prestigious Times higher education award 2012 in the category of ‘Widening Participation Initiative of the Year’.
Students from Hillcroft, most of whom were unemployed prior to the course, had tried to engage with learning in the past, but found their circumstances had created barriers which held them back from moving forward.
Jacqui Beckford-Walker, Head of Curriculum & Curriculum Innovation at Hillcroft College who along with Professor Judith Ackroyd, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) at Regents devised this programme said: “The students, looked at the Regent's website, in their academic tutorial time, guided by their tutors. They reported back that they felt overwhelmed with the beauty of the location and buildings. They thought that they would not fit in. Tutors assured them that their interpersonal skills and adherence boundaries set would see them through. Each time they returned from Regent’s, they commented on how friendly and helpful the other students were. This helped them to integrate into the social environment at Regent's, increased their self-esteem and stopped them feeling as though they were (in their words) ‘second class.’’
Jacqui went on to say: ‘As the students progressed through the course we watched them blossom and their skills unfolded. Andy Greenhalgh, Lecturer in Drama and Communications, at Regent’s commented: “Working with the women of Hillcroft College was an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
Following the course, one of the Hillcroft students was successfully awarded a full fee waiver bursary to study a degree at Regent's with many of the other students moving onto employment, and further study.
Judith Ackroyd, Dean at Regent's concluded “The collaboration with Hillcroft was an amazing experience for staff and students.”
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Last updated: 13 March 2017