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6 May 2009 HEFCE logo
To  Heads of HEFCE-funded higher education institutions
Heads of HEFCE-funded further education colleges
Telephone 0117 931 7317
Facsimile 0117 931 7203

Circular letter number 09/2009

For further information contact Clair Murphy, tel 0117 931 7138, e-mail, or Jenni Radley-Davies, tel 0117 931 7441, e-mail

Dear Vice-Chancellor or Principal

Aimhigher Associates planning for the national programme

1.   Ministers will shortly announce the launch of the national phase of the Aimhigher Associates programme and we are writing to let you know that undergraduates from your institution may be invited to join the scheme.

2.   The programme has been piloted in 21 Aimhigher partnership areas during 2008-09 and will be rolled out to all Aimhigher partnerships in the next academic year.

3.   The programme aims to recruit undergraduates, particularly those who have previously participated in Aimhigher activities, to engage with school/college learners from backgrounds under-represented in higher education. The programme aims to support learners to make better-informed choices at key transitional points, to engage with the higher education progression framework and to encourage progression to the full range of higher education.

4.   Engagements between undergraduates and learners will be on a one-to-one and group basis and will typically involve 15-20 sessions per Associate per year.

5.   The funding for the Aimhigher Associates scheme will be directed through Aimhigher partnerships, who will work with schools and higher education institutions to broker relationships and to co-ordinate the scheme.

6.   Aimhigher partnerships will be engaged in planning this activity from May 2009 with a view to putting the scheme into national operation from the beginning of the new academic year. The full guidance to Aimhigher partnerships, 'Aimhigher Associates scheme: guidance and planning for the national phase, 2009-2011' will be published electronically on 11 May and may be found from that date at

Yours sincerely

John Selby
Director (Education and Participation)