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MDX unveils new social mobility plan in partnership with former Education Secretary

Middlesex University has been partnering with local schools, offering apprenticeships and fair and open recruitment to boost social mobility

Middlesex University has today unveiled a new action plan on its social mobility activity with former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening.

The plan sets out Middlesex’s work to ensure that more people are able to progress in careers, unhindered by their background or lack of connections.

MDX is one of a pioneering group of UK universities and businesses aiming to set a new and higher standard on boosting social mobility with boardroom focus on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues.

"Middlesex University is proud to be part of the Social Mobility Pledge and to collaborate with an alliance of like-minded businesses and employers who put social mobility at the heart of their purpose, " Professor Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University.

Middlesex was among the early signatories to the Social Mobility Pledge, cofounded by Justine Greening in 2018, after she left the Government, alongside UK entrepreneur David Harrison.

The Pledge asks businesses and universities to commit to levelling up Britain by partnering with local schools, offering apprenticeships and using open and fair recruitment practices.

The launch of Middlesex’s Opportunity Action Plan is the culmination of months of work with the Social Mobility Pledge team, who identified Middlesex University as a trail blazer.

Professor Andrea Dlaska, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Learning and Innovation, said: "This report sets out the range of activity Middlesex University is engaged in to support social mobility, from our inclusive curriculum, to our networks of Student Learning Assistants and Digital Buddies providing peer support for students while developing their skills and employability in the process.

"Our personalised digital engagement programme, Make Your Mark, is also supporting students’ transitions and we nurture their entrepreneurial flair with one in seven going on to create their own business.

"Empowering students to tell their stories to future employers, to recognise their talents and strengths and articulate their passions and identity, has been central to our approach."

Professor Nic Beech, Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, said: "The pandemic has increased pressures, with students experiencing additional financial hardship and strain on their wellbeing due to the loss of part-time work or the knock on effect of job losses in their families.

"Our students have enormous drive and potential and can have a considerable positive impact on our communities through enhanced economic participation and social leadership.

"They have a pivotal role to play in our economic and social recovery in the UK and beyond.

"As this report sets out, Middlesex University is enabling these students to play this role in the recovery and make their full contribution in the world."

Justine Greening (pictured above) said: “Achieving true social mobility in Britain and levelling up our country is a huge challenge but one that businesses and universities are rising to. They have a crucial role to play and can be an incredible force for good in spreading opportunities more evenly across communities and to people that have missed out for far too long.

“The Covid-19 crisis has also reset the relationship between universities and their students, who expect them to be much more active on social purpose. I am delighted that Middlesex is at the forefront of this environment, social and corporate governance agenda. Publishing this action plan today sends out a clear signal that Middlesex is raising the standard of corporate ESG and I look forward to working closely with them in the important months ahead for our country.

“I hope many more universities will follow Middlesex’s lead and consider how they can go further, faster to make Britain a high skilled, high knowledge economy.“

Read the Middlesex University Opportunity Action Plan

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