Cabinet Secretary to join pupils and teachers at the Advanced Higher Hub

30 September 2014

The Advanced Higher Hub is the first project in Scotland to employ school teachers to teach on a university campus

The Advanced Higher Hub is the first project in Scotland to employ school teachers to teach on a university campus

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Michael Russell MSP is to deliver a keynote speech at the official launch of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Advanced Higher Hub – a near £1million partnership with Glasgow City Council.

GCU’s Advanced Higher Hub opened in August 2013 and is the first project in Scotland to employ school teachers to teach on a university campus.

The Cabinet Secretary will hear from former pupils and teachers from secondary schools across Glasgow about their experiences at the Advanced Higher Hub, which was allocated £952,000 by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) to fund the first two years of the Hub.

Mr Russell will join an audience including Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU Professor Pamela Gillies CBE and Glasgow City Council’s Assistant Director of Education Services Ian Robertson, together with senior representations from the Council and the University. The Principal and Glasgow City Council’s Executive Member for Education and Young People, Councillor Stephen Curran, will also deliver an address.

Eleanor Wilson, Director of the University's UK Recruit­ment and Outreach Department, which runs the Hub, said: “The Advanced Higher Hub builds on GCU’s University for the Common Good commitment and it is our aim to raise aspirations and widen access to higher education for pupils in the city.

“The number of pupils achieving success is testament to the hard work of the Hub teaching staff and the support received from Glasgow City Council. The Hub works to complement and supplement provision across the city and this event is an excellent opportunity to celebrate and build upon last year’s achievements.”

Nearly 100 Glasgow City Council sixth-year pupils from across 18 Glasgow secondary schools were presented for the exams this year and results showed that of those completing their studies, 23% gained awards at the highest level A, while 31% successfully gained B grades and 20% were awarded C passes. Figures reported by Glasgow City Council also showed a significant rise in the number of young people achieving one or more Advanced Higher – from 5% in 2007 to 11.5% in 2014.

In its second year, the Hub is working in partnership with 21 Glasgow City Council schools supporting the Advanced Higher studies of 156 young people.

Councillor Stephen Curran, Executive Member for Education and Young People, is delighted with the success of the partnership and said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our young people.

“In the inaugural year, the new initiative has increased the number and range of Advanced Higher courses on offer, and importantly given S6 pupils the opportunity to experience learning within a Higher Education environment.

“This was reflected in the city’s best ever exam results recorded in the summer with more Glasgow young people than ever before achieving one or more Advanced Higher.  This year even more of our young people are able to access the Hub’s resources, which I know will result in ever better results in August 2015.”

GCU is a sector leader in widening access to Higher Education with consistently more than one third of its students coming from relatively disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Hub will continue to build on the success of the first year and due to demand has expanded Advanced Higher provision in the STEM subjects: Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics.  As a newly established SQA centre, GCU and GCC will share dual certification of pupils as the Hub will register and present all pupils for their exams in May 2015.