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Higher Education eLearning Gives a First Chance

In society, everyone needs to feel valued as a person and that the work they are doing has meaning and purpose. At eCom we’re fortunate that, in helping our clients solve their business challenges, the eLearning content we create often has wider significance for society.

Posted 12 July 2018

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We have various examples of the positive impact of our work and in this first article, we’re delighted to share how we helped the University of St Andrews encourage secondary school children to consider higher education, regardless of their background.

Tackling educational inequality

As a prestigious world-renowned university, enrolment from students with affluent backgrounds was steadily increasing so the university wanted to readdress the balance and proactively tackle educational inequality. They were looking for a secure eMentoring network and we were delighted to help with the design and development of their ideal system which has been named St Andrews Access Network (StAN)

StAN plays host to a number of different projects:

  • Living Local, Thinking Global - a project engaging with a number of local primary schools.
  • First Chances - to allow selected pupils to participate in activities that will raise their aspirations and attainment.
  • Reach - work with secondary school pupils.

Our eMentoring solution

Within the First Chances project the University of St Andrews initiative, St Andrews Access Network Talk to StAN, uses eCom Scotland's eMentoring solution to promote the wider uptake of Higher Education among those groups that are under-represented at the university. School and college pupils are given the opportunity to spend a day shadowing an undergraduate student at lectures, tutorials and seminars. They can then join the eMentoring network to receive help and advice from students on a secure online forum.

A secure moderated forum

This network helps to promote St Andrews University to local school pupils through a secure moderated forum for participants to interact on a one-to-one or group basis; with Interactive resources in private or shared libraries, participants can upload documents and manage assignments. This enables the University of St Andrews to strengthen ties in their local community, monitor participation and measure engagement and impact.

Strengthening community ties

Because eCom is a recognised cyber-security safe supplier, schools are confident that the pupils can access a secure system in a safe environment, which helps the university facilitate the strengthening of ties with the community and local schools.

There are plans to expand the system over time and we’re looking forward to assisting with this development.