Manchester Metropolitan University – MMU – has urged North West business leaders to support its £1m First Generation scheme.
The ambitious £1m First Generation scheme, which aims to unlock the potential in gifted, bright young people from families where no one has previously attended university, has been launched by Manchester Metropolitan University’s Vice-Chancellor, Malcolm Press, a First Generation founder donor, and the first member of his own family to attend university.
The scheme will support 500 young people in securing a university education by 2020 – maximising the growth potential of the Northern Powerhouse economy by making the best possible use of the regional talent pool.
In his first major fundraising initiative as Vice-Chancellor, Malcolm Press is urging financial support from individuals, businesses and groups who have a stake in the future of young people in Greater Manchester.
Malcolm said: “I firmly believe that universities transform people’s lives. They allow them to discover who they are. They allow them to be who they want to be and achieve their ambitions.
“The First Generation scheme can only happen with the generous and visionary support of our alumni, businesses, partners and the whole University community. I would urge anyone who is passionate about developing talent and making a difference, to get involved and back First Generation.”
The scheme will help the brightest young people, from families with no university experience, to secure an undergraduate place at Manchester Metropolitan and then provide them with continued professional and personal support throughout their studies, to graduation and into employment. Participants will receive a £1,000 First Generation Scholarship.
Every pound raised through First Generation will go directly towards supporting students, with the University covering its own costs. A £10,000 donation will provide funding for five young First Generation students and the campaign has already attracted strong support from individual and corporate donors alike.
First Generation has already attracted the support of a number of high profile founder donors – including respected businesswoman Vanda Murray, former Camelot Chief Executive Dame Dianne Thompson and Mike Perls, chief executive of the MC2 marketing agency (see below).
Targeting sixth form college students who have excelled in their GCSE examinations, First Generation scheme aims to ensure that young people from all socio-economic backgrounds are represented on campus.
“I think it’s very important to encourage people with an ability, at an early age, to be ambitious, to be confident, and to think about how universities can change their lives,” Mr Press added.
“First Generation could ultimately be self-sustaining. We will get the brightest and the best from across Greater Manchester, working with our partner schools and colleges, and we will use our staff and our students and our business networks to mentor those people.
“When they leave, we’ll help them with jobs, with prospects, with mentoring networks, with alumni networks, so that they can go on and be successful themselves. And my vision is that those people will be the individuals who will fund and support future generations.”
The first cohort of 50 First Generation scheme students will be selected in March 2017 and granted a free summer school place.
They will be supported in completing their university application and mentored. If successful in meeting the requirements of the scheme, they will start their undergraduate degrees in September 2018.
It is hoped that First Generation will have supported 500 young people by 2020.
Malcolm is aiming to get as many businesses interested as possible, to ensure the success and longevity of the campaign.
Proud to be First Generation founder donors –
Mike Perls is Chief Executive of MC2, a strategic marketing agency based in Manchester and San Francisco. He completed a post-graduate degree in marketing at Manchester Metropolitan and MC2 is a corporate founder donor for First Generation, providing £10,000 to support five students.
“Had I not gone to university, I don’t think the world of possibilities would have opened up to me the way that it has. At MC2 we have an essence which is to make a difference. It’s not just a strapline, it’s something we actually do, both with the people who work here, the clients we work with, but also the communities we work in. We as a business are a founder donor of the First Generation campaign. We’ve committed £10,000 in the first year and we believe that, as part of the collective of founder donors, will help make a difference to 50 people in the first cohort.”
Vanda Murray OBE
As well as serving as Pro-Chancellor and Chair of the Board of Governors at Manchester Metropolitan University, Vanda holds a portfolio of Non-Executive Directorships and is a member of the Manchester Growth Company Board. Vanda is providing £10,000 of her own money to the campaign.
“I was the first person to go to university in my family and though I knew it was an important step for me, I underestimated how much higher education would transform my life. The First Generation programme will reach out to young people at a critical point in their lives, raising their ambitions and encouraging and supporting them to fulfil their potential. It is a hugely important initiative and will be life-changing for so many young people. I am immensely proud to be a First Generation campaign founder donor.”
Dame Dianne Thompson DBE
Former Chief Executive of Camelot Group of Companies, operator of the UK National Lottery, Dame Dianne nurtured a unique relationship with Manchester Metropolitan University alongside her successful marketing and business career. Dame Dianne is a graduate and Honorary Graduate, a former lecturer, and she was the University’s third Chancellor from 2011 to 2016.
“I come from a northern working-class background. My parents made huge sacrifices to give me a great education, culminating in my graduation from Manchester Metropolitan University. I was the first in my family to go to university. Thanks to my education, I have had a wonderful career and I want everyone else, whatever their background, to have the same opportunity.”
Mohammad Habeebullah OBE JP
Retired Rochdale Council youth worker Mohammad Habeebullah OBE JP is a Manchester Metropolitan University graduate. In 2012, he was awarded an OBE for services to the community in Greater Manchester.
“I have seen first-hand the effects of poverty and lack of opportunity in communities, especially the black and ethnic minority communities. I believe that going to university can help change the course of a person’s life.
I am supporting First Generation because I believe that it will help to bring down some of the barriers to success, education and stereotyping that so many young people face.”
The First Generation scheme:
Starts with students who excel in their GCSEs and then progress to Year 12 at a local college
Provides a pre-entry residential summer school, application support and peer mentorship to help the participants gain a university place
Offers continued professional and personal support to those that choose Manchester Metropolitan, including graduate and peer mentorships, employment as a Student Ambassador, placements, a residential experience at the end of Year 1, and a scholarship
Students successfully completing the pre-entry elements and subsequently applying to Manchester Metropolitan will be eligible for the University’s Unconditional Offer Scheme
Donations to the First Generation campaign will fund the Year 1 residential experience (costing £1,000) and the First Generation scholarship of £1,000. The University will fund all administrative costs so the total cost of one place is £2,000 and every pound donated will go directly to the student.