New education centre to support young people officially opens in Glasgow

A group of five children wearing graduation gowns link arms at IntoUniversity Maryhill

A new learning centre officially launches in Glasgow today (Tuesday 29 March 2022) and is set to empower thousands of young people to achieve their academic and career ambitions.

The centre in Maryhill is part of a ground-breaking collaboration between the University of Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh and education charity IntoUniversity to provide additional educational support to those aged 7-18. It is the third centre to be opened in the last year, the first two centres launching in Govan, Glasgow and Craigmillar, Edinburgh.

The collaboration will connect young people in Maryhill, who may never have dreamed of going to university, with two of the world’s leading Higher Education Institutions, providing exceptional opportunities to support their learning and nurture their ambitions, whatever those might be.

IntoUniversity Maryhill, which officially launches this afternoon (Tuesday 29 March 2022), is based at The Maryhill Hub in Maryhill, Glasgow.

Both universities will be involved in all three centres in the years to come, motivated by a shared concern for children growing up experiencing poverty and a belief in the power of education to transform young people’s lives. 66% of school leavers who attended existing IntoUniversity centres in 2021 went on to progress to university, compared with 26.6% of students from similar backgrounds.

Working closely with local schools and other agencies including Glasgow City Council, the centre in Maryhill offers ground-breaking support to young people, including after-school academic support, mentoring with university students and local professionals, in-school aspiration-raising workshops and enrichment and work experience opportunities.

The Maryhill centre opened to young people in October and once established, it will support over 1000 students per year. The centre is inclusive of all academic abilities and helps young people to achieve a university/college place or another positive destination.

Attending the event will be around 20 students aged 7-18, along with their parents and guardians, who are set to benefit from the centre for the next academic year and beyond, with some of them delivering speeches.

Left to Right : Melika, aged 14, and  Wiaam, aged 14, both S3 pupils at John Paul Academy who attend the new IntoUniversity Maryhill centre which is based in The Maryhill Hub in the Wyndford, Maryhill. Photo Credit Martin Shields

Melika, aged 14, who is an S3 pupil at John Paul Academy, Glasgow, said: “When I leave school, I want to study law at university and become a lawyer. I think it is really good at this centre. It’s a place for you to come to concentrate on study. When I am at home, it is more difficult to study, as I am distracted by my phone and TV. Here I am able to focus on the work and staff are very helpful.”

Wiaam, aged 14, who is an S3 pupil at John Paul Academcy, Glasgow, said: “I want to be a doctor when I leave school. It has been really helpful to come here after school. Staff here have given me lots of study and exams advice and top tips which will be really helpful especially for my Nat 5’s next year.”

At the official opening, primary school students will be taking part in a variety of activities replicating the type of activities they will be engaging with in the year ahead during after-school academic support sessions.

Secondary school students will be coming up with questions about further and higher education and future pathways to survey attending guests.

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “The launch of the Maryhill learning centre marks another major milestone in helping us unlock and nurture the potential of young people, regardless of their background. This is an ambitious and important project, and we are proud to be part of it.

“The impact of the learning centre will create a wider benefit not only for the individuals, but also for their families and communities, the universities or colleges they might attend, and for society as a whole.”

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli with the IntoUniversity Scotland donor tree with Rosie and Lucy at the launch of IntoUniversity Maryhill

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor University of Glasgow, said: “While tremendous strides have been made in Widening Participation in recent years, there are still too many young people – particularly those who have experienced poverty – who do not see a university education as open to them. The University of Glasgow is determined to change that, and our ground-breaking collaboration with IntoUniversity is a key part of that mission.

“We know that potentially world-changing talent exists in every community across Glasgow – and as a University and a city, we cannot allow this untapped potential go to waste. For the University and the city to thrive, we must empower people from across our communities to meet their full potential regardless of their background.

“The new IntoUniversity centre in Maryhill will build on the successes of the centres opened in Govan and Craigmillar last year – working with even more young people from an early age to give them the confidence to consider a university education or to support them in their ambitions into employment or further education, helping to unlock their full potential.”

Students and staff of IntoUniversity Maryhill help to cut the ribbon for the official opening ceremony along with Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli of UofG; Professor Colm Harmon, University of Edinburgh and Gerry Lyons of Glasgow City Council

Dr Rachel Carr, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of IntoUniversity, said: “We are delighted to have opened our latest learning centre in Maryhill in collaboration with the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh. It is wonderful to be able to celebrate the success of students so far, as well as looking forward to what they will achieve in the future.”

Gerry Lyons of Glasgow City Council said: “What a wonderful partnership and facility that will benefit Glasgow’s children and young people. Our schools strive to provide as many opportunities as possible to enhance the learning and teaching offered by our teachers and school staff and I am so excited to see how this centre and the work we will do in it resource increases our pupils’ outcomes and supports their future pathways into Higher Education.”


About IntoUniversity

IntoUniversity is an Education Charity Registered Charity Number SC049776 (Scotland) and 1118525 (England and Wales) which runs local learning centres that are inclusive of all academic abilities and help young people to achieve a university/college place or another positive destination. 

IntoUniversity currently runs 35 centres in 18 towns and cities in England and Scotland. The centres in Craigmillar, Govan and Maryhill are the charity’s first in Scotland.

IntoUniversity centres work closely with local schools, colleges, universities and businesses to support young people to achieve their chosen aspirations. Young people experiencing disadvantage are likely to have lost several months’ learning during the pandemic and will be facing a more challenging job market and tougher economy, potentially knocking back their plans for tertiary education and entering the world of work.

The new IntoUniversity centres will add to the long-term effort of schools and other agencies to support young people’s learning recovery whilst in education.

IntoUniversity has a proven track record of improving attainment into further education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds in England, and has supported more than 100,000 students across over 35 centres nationwide since 2002. 66% of school leavers who attended IntoUniversity centres in 2020 went on to progress to university, compared with 26.6% of students from similar backgrounds nationally.

First published: 29 March 2022