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How applying through PARTNERS secured my place at university

How applying through PARTNERS secured my place at university

by Caroline Hardaker

When Sam wasn’t sure if university was for him, his college lecturer suggested PARTNERS as an alternative route to university. Find out what happened next…

A traditional route to university isn't for everyone. English language student, Sam, joined Newcastle University as a student through the PARTNERS Programme. This supported entry route offers a range of support and opportunities to help young people develop the skills necessary to be a successful student.


At first, Sam wasn’t sure that university was for him. He said, "When I was applying, I told a member of college staff that I wasn't sure I wanted to go."

Sam was encouraged to apply to university through PARTNERS by his teacher. "It was mentioned a lot at college. It helped that my college lecturer actually got into Newcastle University through PARTNERS, so she'd always mention it!"

Through PARTNERS, future students can receive a lower conditional offer to Newcastle University, and are fully supported from school or college to university.

There were so many benefits to the programme, and understanding how different university life would be helped Sam feel more confident about going.

Applicants have to meet certain eligibility criteria, and as part of the programme complete a free summer school after Year 13 or their final year of college. This summer school gives future students a real taste of university life. Once their course begins, PARTNERS students are also offered extra support while settling in.

"Summer school was a good week," said Sam. "I remember everyone on the PARTNERS programme getting along really well. There were some great bonding exercises put on to help students feel comfortable.

"I was applying to do History back then, and we had a lecturer from North Shields teaching us about local history. It was great because the lecturer was really engaging and fun."


Students sat in a lecture


Taking part in the PARTNERS programme meant that Sam secured a place on his chosen course. "I actually didn’t get the grades I needed to study History, but later when I decided I wanted to do English Language, the Admissions team saw my completion of summer school as evidence that I was a committed and eager student who really wanted to be here at university."

Sam went on to work as one of the activities assistants for the Give It A Go (GIAG) events programme, an initiative run by Newcastle University's Students’ Union. The programme supports and encourages students to get involved with activities, make friends, and enrich their time at university by giving new things a go.


"I think PARTNERS gave me a good philosophy in regards to university, to just get involved in anything that's going on. There were so many benefits, and understanding how different university life would be helped me feel more confident about going."


Find out more:

The PARTNERS programme has been running since 1999 and is one of the most well-established supported entry routes to higher education of its kind.

Over 8,000 students have gone on to study at Newcastle University via PARTNERS. It offers a range of support and opportunities to help you make a successful application to Newcastle University. Find out how PARTNERS could help you join us at Newcastle University.


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