By Press Office 21 August 2020

In August, Queen Margaret University (QMU) reinforced its commitment to equality of opportunity by signing up to the Social Mobility Pledge.

The Social Mobility Pledge is a coalition of hundreds of businesses and universities who are serious about being a force for good by putting social mobility at the heart of their purpose. Social mobility is used to describe changes in wealth, as well as general social standing and education. The Social Mobility Pledge Campaign is chaired by former politician Rt Hon Justine Greening, who served as Secretary of Education from 2016 – 2018. By signing the Pledge, businesses and universities commit to enhancing opportunities by working with local schools; offering training and apprenticeships; and by adopting fair recruitment policies.

More than 500 organisations representing over seven million people have signed the Social Mobility Pledge. This includes over 50 universities with more than two million students represented.

The principles on which the Pledge is founded resonate strongly with Queen Margaret University’s values and stated purpose. Throughout QMU’s long history it has strived to promote equality of opportunity - initially being established in 1875 to create better educational and career opportunities for women. Today, it remains true to its founding values, and is focused on shaping a better world through education, research and innovation, enabling individuals and communities to flourish.

Sir Paul Grice, University Principal and Vice-Chancellor explained: “We are committed to equality of opportunity by creating pathways and tailored support for our students and staff. We are passionate about helping our students and our staff reach their true potential by removing any barriers to success. We value social justice – in fact, it underpins our world view. We believe that opportunities and access are open to all and on a fair basis.

“With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that universities and businesses work together to tackle the growing opportunity gap. We have a demonstrable record in widening access, working in partnership with schools, colleges, councils, industry, support agencies and the government to widen access to university level education, and all of the social and economic benefits that this brings.”

Sir Paul concluded: “As a distinctive university with a person-centred approach to education and teaching and a drive to shape a better world, the Social Mobility Pledge epitomises much of what we stand for. We are delighted to commit to the Pledge and a Social Mobility Opportunity Action Plan. This will strengthen our existing efforts to close the opportunity gap.

For more information on the Social Mobility Pledge visit www.socialmobilitypledge.org

 

Notes to Editor

  • The Social Mobility Pledge campaign is chaired by Rt Hon Justine Greening, drawing especially on her experience as United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women & Equalities. Justine is a leading advocate for social mobility and the Social Mobility Pledge is the largest business campaign of its kind.
  • The Social Mobility Pledge is a coalition of 450 businesses globally employing over 5 million people, as well as more than 50 universities representing almost 2 million students. It encourages organisations to being a force for good by putting social mobility at the heart of their purpose.
  • Making the Pledge represents a powerful and pioneering shift towards being a truly purpose-led organisation committed to social mobility by committing to outreach, access and recruitment. It is a straightforward step that any organisation can take, and the University will be joining a coalition of 500 organisations. Organisations taking these steps to boost opportunity and social mobility are playing a part in closing the growing opportunity gap in the wake of COVID-19.

For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk , M: 07711 011239.

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