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Aims of ASPIRENorth Schools for Higher Education Programme

To engage with young people from S3 to S6 in order to raise their awareness of the value of higher education, provide impartial and relevant information and advice and deliver a programme of activities which motivate, encourage aspiration and build self-confidence.

The programme is part of the Scottish Funding Council’s national ‘Schools for Higher Education Programme’, and provides support in 10 schools across the Nort of Scotland that traditionally have low progression rates to higher education.

There are three other similar programmes running in Scotland:

Fife and Tayside - Lift Off, contact Sarah Morrison, Lift Off Manager

South East - LEAPS, contact Ged Lerpiniere, LEAPS Director

West - Focus West, contact Bernadette Sanderson, Focus West Manager


What SHEP wants to achieve

  • Increase staying on rates and progression rates to higher education, both in college and to university.
  • Support pupils to fulfil their potential and progress to higher education in college and university.
  • Increase awareness and opportunities of higher education at college and university.
  • Provide advice, information and encouragement.


To fulfill the SHEP aims, ASPIRENorth Programme activities are designed to

  • Raise pupils' aspirations, enable them to positively visualise themselves moving into higher education, and support them towards this progression
  • Address barriers to progression by delivering clear, focused information in a stimulating and fun way
  • Work with the schools to address both institution-specific needs and to ensure that the needs of parents and other key-influence groups are also addressed
  • Actively involve both staff and students of the partner institutions of the North Forum
  • Increase awareness of both local and national post-compulsory education opportunities



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