We have launched a brand new programme, Join the Dots, a national initiative which brings schools and colleges together with universities to develop a network of support for students during the transition to university.

What we’re planning to do 

Disadvantage does not disappear when students walk through the doors of their university. By the end of 2026, we aim to have worked with our partners to support over 11,000 undergraduates to reach their full academic potential.  

Why we’re doing it 

In recent years, a growing body of research has highlighted the inequalities that exist at undergraduate level. Some students are less likely to get good grades in their first year, more likely to drop out before their second year and less likely to graduate with a 1st or 2:1 in their final degree. The attainment gaps we see, even at the most competitive universities, are significant for less advantaged and underrepresented undergraduates. 

Join the Dots

Join the Dots, developed in collaboration with the Reach Foundation and the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham, will bring together schools and colleges together with universities to support students who are most likely to face barriers during the transition to higher education.

The programme will connect schools and colleges, universities and students to share knowledge and set goals for a successful transition. It will build communities of students to identify, discuss and address shared challenges and foster a sense of belonging at university. Through 1-1 and peer group coaching, it will help students to develop key university study strategies and be a link for students to access university support as needed.

connections, communities, coaching

The first pilot is launching in summer 2022. Participating schools and colleges have identified less advantaged Year 13 students who meet key targeting criteria and have selected one of the programme’s partner universities as a firm choice. Schools and colleges are supporting students to prepare for the university transition during the summer term, and on Results Day they will be matched with a PhD Coach from the university they are going to. Each PhD Coach will support eight students and work closely with their school or college and university through the six-month transition programme.

The findings of the Join the Dots pilot will be published in a report in early 2023 and will share best practice for universities, schools and colleges to better support students as they transition to university. The Brilliant Club will evaluate the pilot in 2023 to inform how the programme could be expanded in its second year.

You can read more about Join the Dots, or read the job specification for our PhD coaches, via the buttons below.

Get in touch 

If you would like to find out more about Join the Dots, or to get involved with Year 2 of the programme, please email David Jones (Access and Success Projects Director).