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Open University and the Russell Group launch Jumpstart University

Jumpstart University is a free new resource hub for students starting university this autumn, launched by the Open University and the Russell Group. 

The Jumpstart University hub is aimed at this year’s new students who may feel less prepared for university due to disruption to their education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes practical courses in subjects such as managing finances, working in groups, essay writing and mental health, as well as subject specific courses.

Hosted by the Open University and curated with the Russell Group, the hub is open to students enrolling at any university or college, plus those supporting them such as parents, teachers, carers and advisors.

Imperial supports Russell Group and Open University platform for new students

The new hub exists alongside the welcome, induction and transition support provided by Imperial. The College offers a welcome hub for all new students which provides practical information about accommodation and arriving at the College, as well as details about Welcome Season, facilities and the Student Support Zone.

Professor Emma McCoy, Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience), explains the importance of supporting this year’s students:

“Many of the students joining us this autumn have seen real disruption to their education because of the pandemic. Starting at university can be daunting enough without the challenges of the last 18 months, so I am delighted that Jumpstart University makes the Open University’s excellent online courses available to provide additional support for these students.

“We want every new student to get the most out of their time at Imperial and our community is ready to welcome and assist them as they transition to university study. This year we have increased the support we will be giving to new students as we help them to settle into university life.”

Brushing up on skills

Mathematics skills are at the heart of many Imperial degrees, meaning new and prospective students can always benefit from further opportunities to raise their attainment and put their knowledge to good use.

Imperial already has experience of preparing young people for university, by offering a tutored massive open online course (MOOC) for Maths A-Level students, this has now been extended to cover Further Mathematics A-Level.

The MOOCs, which are delivered by Imperial’s academics and students, offer sustained support throughout years 12 and 13 to help students tackle the most challenging elements of the Further Maths A-Level curriculum. This is supplemented by tailored e-mentoring and masterclasses, with resources and support also available for A-level teachers to help their students achieve their potential.

The programme aims to reach at least 150 students from underrepresented groups each year from across the UK with its tailored support by 2022, which would represent approximately a sixth of the total number of under-represented students taking Further Maths at A-Level last year.

The MOOCs are freely available online to school students of all backgrounds in the UK and overseas. They will form the basis of some of the support offered to any new Imperial students that require additional support with their maths skills.

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