ABOUT THE STUDENT SOCIAL MOBILITY AWARDS

The Student Social Mobility Awards are organised by upReach to showcase the incredible achievements of undergraduates from lower socio-economic backgrounds from across the UK. The awards are to recognise students who have excelled in their studies and beyond, and shown great potential to excel as they launch their careers. Our focus is on students who have demonstrated great resilience, determination or initiative, or boosted their employability in innovative ways. We aim to showcase up-and-coming talent and identify those rising stars to watch in the years to come.

More about our Nomination Process

Previous winners

A BRIEF HISTORY

upReach decided to create the Student Social Mobility Awards in 2018 as a way of recognising and showcasing the enormous talent that exists across the UK, and as a reminder of the vast unrealised potential of so many with social mobility in the UK still worse than in most other OECD countries.

The inaugural 2018/19 Student Social Mobility Awards took place in December 2018. We launched the 2019/20 Awards in June 2019 on the roof terrace of the Bank of America, with the Awards event taking place in November 2019. The 2020/21 Awards have been moved to the summer to better fit the academic calendar.

At the June 2019 launch of the 2019/20 Student Social Mobility awards, we heard inspiring speeches from Minister Nadhim Zahawi, then Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Education, and Bernie Mensah, President of Bank of America (UK & CEEMA).

Read the 2018/19 programme

Read the 2019/20 programme

Award categories encompassing sixth formers, undergraduates, mentors, universities, employers and teachers

Award winners since the inception of the SSMAs in 2018

Nominations for outstanding achievements by students, universities, employers, teachers and mentors across the UK

THE AWARDS

This year's ceremony will celebrate undergraduates, sixth formers, mentors, teachers, employers and universities who have supported the social mobility agenda at a time of increasing inequalities due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most of the Awards recognise undergraduates who have excelled in their studies and beyond, and shown great potential as they launch their careers.

There are also awards for a student, mentor, employer and university initiative that have championed social mobility and enabled others to succeed. In 2019/20, we created new awards for Aspire Teacher, Aspire Rising Star and Aspire Community Champion, the last two of which are for sixth-formers.

Please see below a list of the different Awards, together with information on how to make a nomination and eligibility criteria.

AWARDS FOR UNDERGRADUATES

Eligibility: Those nominated for these Awards must be an undergraduate in the 2020/21 academic year.

Nominations: Anyone can make a nomination for these Awards.

Description: Recognising outstanding achievement in specific career sectors: Banking & Finance; Creative Industries; Government, Politics & The Public Sector; Law; Professional Services & Consulting; Property; Science & Engineering; Tech.

Description: This award recognises students who have made a significant contribution to tackling social mobility. This could involve speaking at events, supporting their University Widening Participation department, or setting up initiatives in their own time to improve social mobility on a local or national level.

Description: The top ten students who have achieved, or have the highest potential to achieve, outstanding success academically, professionally and/or personally. This might be demonstrated by resilience, determination or initiative, participation in work experience or internship programmes, by the attainment of significant leadership roles at University (and using those roles to great effect), or by efforts made to boost employability in unique and innovative ways.

Description: This award will go to the student who has achieved the most, as determined by the Judging Panel and a student vote.





AWARDS FOR SIXTH-FORMERS

Description: Recognising a student who has achieved outstanding success academically and/or personally. This might be demonstrated by resilience, determination or initiative or by participation in work experience or extra-curricular activities.

Eligibility: Those nominated for this award must be 16 or over and have studied at a school, sixth form college or FE college in the 2020/21 Academic Year

Nominations: Those nominating someone for this Award must be either/or:

  • Aged 16 or over and have studied at a school, sixth form college or FE college in the 2020/21 academic year.
  • A teacher who has taught students aged 16 or over at a school, sixth form college or FE college in the 2020/21 academic year.

Note: The winning student and nominator will be invited to the Awards.

Description: Recognising a student who has made a significant contribution to their local community, helping to boost opportunities for those from less advantaged backgrounds.

Eligibility: Those nominated for this Award must be aged 16 or over and have studied at a school, sixth form college or FE college in the 2020/21 academic year.

Nominations: Those nominating someone for this Award must be either/or:

  • Aged 16 or over and have studied at a school, sixth form college or FE college in the 2020/21 academic year.
  • A teacher who has taught students aged 16 or over at a school, sixth form college or FE college in the 2020/21 academic year.

Note: The winning student and nominator will be invited to the Awards.





AWARD FOR TEACHERS

Description: Recognising a teacher who has gone above and beyond, making a significant contribution to broadening career horizons, boosting aspirations or facilitating the future success of students from less advantaged backgrounds.

Eligibility: The teachers nominated for this Award must have taught pupils aged 16 or over at a school, FE college or sixth form college in the 2020/21 academic year.

Nominations: Those nominating a teacher for this Award must be aged 16 or over and have studied at a school, sixth form college or FE college in the 2020/21 academic year.

Note: The winning teacher will be invited to the Awards with the student that nominated them.





AWARDS FOR EMPLOYERS AND UNIVERSITIES

Description: Recognising an employer initiative that has worked to boost social mobility.

Eligibility: Must be an employer initiative that focused on improving social mobility that ran in the 2020/21 academic year and aided students from UK universities.

Nominations: Employer initiatives can be nominated by those who were undergraduates in the 2020/21 academic year.

Description: Recognising a university initiative that has improved the future prospects and/or employability skills of students from less-advantaged backgrounds, as voted for by upReach Associates.

Eligibility: To be eligible, a university initiative needs to be focused on supporting disadvantaged students from UK schools in the 2020/21 academic year

Nominations: University initiatives can be nominated by those who were undergraduates in the 2020/21 academic year.

Description: upReach will also present the inaugural Employer Champion of Social Mobility Award, to recognise an individual who has made a significant commitment over a long period to boost social mobility in the UK.

Nominations: This Award isn't connected to the regular nomination process.





AWARD FOR MENTORS

Description: Recognising an individual who has made a significant contribution to improving the employability of students from less-advantaged backgrounds.

Eligibility: Those nominated for these Awards must have been a mentor to undergraduates in the 2020/21 academic year.

Nominations: Nominations can be made by mentees who were an undergraduate and received mentoring from their mentor in the 2020/21 academic year.