51

Home Study Undergraduate From Adversity to University

From Adversity to University

Using education to overcome adversity

From Adversity to University

Using education to overcome adversity

As featured in

The Times

BBC's Morning Live

The Big Issue

youtube-video-thumbnail
From Adversity to University
Watch our recent appearance on BBC's Morning Live to learn more about what we do.

Our ethos

Providing opportunities for those often left behind

At the University of 51, we know that education and ability are not synonymous, with opportunities not always equally available to all.

The From Adversity to University initiative revolves around the Bridging Course – a non-traditional route into higher education that hopes to create equality of opportunity and to help students to reach their unrecognised potential.

Bridging Course

Get back into education, no matter your starting point

The Bridging Course is taught in small groups and is designed to develop academic knowledge and skills based on the lived experience of participants.

Sessions consist of lectures, workshops and interactive discussions. It is run one evening a week as a group.

Successful completion of the module allows students to apply for degree courses at the University of 51

Bridging Course

Student view

Hear what our Bridging Course students have to say

Phil

Bridging Course graduate and current
BA (Hons) Sociology student

"It is the most fantastic opportunity. It gave me a future, it gave me hope and a chance to turn things around. To be able to achieve something is such a magical feeling."

Lucy

Bridging Course graduate and current
BA (Hons) Fine Art student

"The course gave me the drive and belief that I could do anything I put my mind to and hope for the future. It quite literally transformed my life."

Humanistic Counselling students in classroom

From Adversity to University Toolkit

How to start your own
Bridging Course

The University of 51 has launched a toolkit designed for Higher Education Institutions who are interested in setting up their own “From Adversity to University,” project.

Our Team

Meet the team behind the project

Senior Lecturer, Institute of Education, Health and Social Sciences
Reader in Childhood and Social Policy

Events and Conferences

From Adversity to University Conference 2022

How widening participation can address inequality of opportunity

Our first From Adversity to University conference took place in April 2022. The conference welcomed those working in organisations, charities and Higher Education institutions looking to support those who are disadvantaged to overcome barriers to education.

Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

Sabrina Cohen-Hatton

Chief Fire Officer of the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

Sabrina was a keynote speaker (pre-recorded) at our From Adversity to University Conference. Her talk was, personal, powerful, and moving.

At the age of 15, Sabrina was made homeless after her father died of a brain tumour. During her homelessness, she sold The Big Issue and slept on the streets of Newport, Wales.

At the end of her school career, she slept in a derelict building. During the time she spent on the streets, Cohen-Hatton suffered from antisemitic attacks.

For around two years, she either slept rough or was vulnerably housed. It took her several attempts to get off the streets and into secure accommodation, including a spending some time sleeping in a van.

She joined the fire service in South Wales in 2001 at the age of eighteen.

She was the first woman firefighter at that station. Whilst serving as a firefighter, she completed a bachelor's degree in psychology at the Open University, eventually completing a PhD in the behavioural neuroscience lab at Cardiff University in 2013.

She has since become an ambassador of The Big Issue and has said that it saved her life.

Dr Kevin Love

Dr Kevin Love

Dr Kevin Love

Head of Learning for the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University

Dr Kevin Love is interim Head of Learning for the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University.

He gave a keynote speech at our conference describing how he hopes to create a University Community Academy supported by his university, Nottingham University, and other external partners.

The Community Academy will be a collaboration working with those who have experienced adversity or who are vulnerable to help them to improve outcomes and gain qualifications.

Greg Hurst

Greg Hurst

Greg Hurst

Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Centre for Homelessness Impact

Greg Hurst is the Head of Communications and Public Affairs, Centre for Homelessness Impact.

His paper, developed from this talk at the From Adversity to University Conference, has been accepted by the Higher Education Policy Institute, HEPI.

Alam Begum and Richard Pearce

Alam Begum

Alam Begum

Designated Teacher for Children Looked After and Lecturer in Business, East Surrey College
Richard Pearce

Richard Pearce

Director of Higher Education, Orbital South Colleges

Sharyn Wall

Sharyn Wall

Sharyn Wall

Building Better Opportunities Development Worker at Aspire Sussex Limited

Ruth McFarlane

Ruth McFarlane

Ruth McFarlane

Director, DWRM Consultants

David Galloway and Dom Thompson

Our story

See our news articles and podcasts

Be You Podcast - Being given a second chance

Be You Podcast: S3, Ep8 – Being Given a Second Chance

Jess speaks to Senior Lecturer Becky Edwards and one of her students Darren on their experiences of the Bridging Course at the University of 51.

Bishop Otter Campus

The Squirrel News Podcast

Listen to Becky Edwards, Senior Lecturer at the University of 51, speak about the origins of the Adversity to University project and where it goes from here.

Homelessness Studies Lab

Exploring the impact and causes of homelessness

Browse our research into homelessness, meet our researchers and discover the impact we're having on our community.

Bishop Otter Campus

Our address

For visits

I’m looking for