Who we are
upReach is a fast growing, award winning national charity that helps university students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds get top graduate jobs. We help these young people achieve their career potential by providing an intensive programme of career support that addresses socio-economic barriers to graduate employment.
Our work is important because right now those from comprehensive schools are 17 times less likely than those from selective schools to secure graduate roles at some top employers.
We are working to address this issue in partnership with employers and universities. Building on the success of the past five years, upReach’s current partners include Allen & Overy, Bank of America, the Civil Service Fast Stream, Deloitte, McKinsey & Company and Slaughter and May. We also partner with universities including Exeter, King’s College London, Liverpool, Warwick and Manchester.
This academic year, over 1600 undergraduates (we call them upReach Associates) are being supported through our unique programme of application guidance, soft skills workshops, video forums (small group, online seminar-style sessions), mentoring and professional experience. We aim to support 2,500 per year by 2022, while maintaining our personalised approach and expanding the support offered.
Our impact is clear; a 2019 analysis by the University of Exeter shows that the Exeter students we supported outperformed their more advantaged peers. Despite the many barriers to graduate success, upReach’s tailored programme of support is helping Associates outperform fellow students long after graduation.
upReach is a dynamic organisation. We have invested in class-leading technology to facilitate, deliver and evaluate our programmes. The upReach Graduate Employability Framework (GEF), against which all of our activities are mapped, enables students to understand their employability and plan their learning. We built getEmployable to provide all students with a means to measure their employability using the GEF. Our contextualised grade model, REALrating, is used to better understand academic potential rather than relying on grades alone.
The strength of our online platform and resources have enabled us to continue to support students throughout the Covid-19 crisis. Since lockdown began, there has been a significant increase in demand for upReach support; 100% of planned face-to-face events have been adapted into virtual equivalents or postponed to a later date. While we remain alert to the increased uncertainty about the economic outlook due to Covid-19, our ambition and growth strategy remain intact.
To find out more about upReach and how we support our students, visit our website and read our latest Annual Report.
The ideal candidate will bring deep expertise within the higher education sector. Their guidance will help us to grow our university partnerships and ensure that student experience is at the forefront of our strategy.
- A passion for social mobility and knowledge of the broader social mobility sector, including the type of work undertaken by upReach
- Senior management experience in a university or within the wider HE sector, with a deep understanding of the student experience and/or widening participation agenda
- Prior trustee or other senior governance experience
It is expected that all Trustees should use any specific skills, knowledge or experience they have to help the Board reach sound decisions. This will involve scrutinising board papers in advance of meetings, leading discussions, focusing on key issues, and providing advice and guidance requested by the Board on new initiatives, or other issues relevant to the area of upReach’s work in which the Trustee has special expertise.
We particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented at board level, including women and BAME/PoC applicants.