Access Scheme, University of Southampton

Providing opportunity

The University of Southampton has been very fortunate to receive support from the Ian Karten Charitable Trust to support students who come from widening participation backgrounds. The Access to Southampton (A2S) scheme provides financial support and special consideration to students who meet two or more designated eligibility criteria. The additional funding provided by the Ian Karten Charitable Trust has enabled the University to give students longer-term funding that encourages and financially supports individuals throughout their studies.

Echoing Ian’s own personal experience, being funded by a programme like this has a very positive impact on the confidence and aspiration of the students concerned, the value provided being much more than just the financial grant itself.

Katie Holdway, PhD English Researcher
Katie Holdway, PhD English Researcher

Katie Holdway, one of our A2S Ian and Mildred Karten Bursary recipients speaks here of the impact of the programme, and the Trust’s support, on her success and achievement:

“I am enormously grateful to the Ian Karten Charitable Trust for their generous funding of bursaries for Access to Southampton (A2S) scholars. I had the privilege of joining the A2S scheme while studying for my A-levels in 2013, and I have benefitted from the programme — and the opportunities to which it has given rise—throughout my time at the University of Southampton.

A2S is a programme that has underpinned my entire student experience, and has also been the source of many “firsts”. I was eligible for A2S because I am in the first generation of my family to attend university; the A2S Summer School was the first time I had stayed away from home alone, so it was a big step for me; and the A2S assignment was my first opportunity to have a go at producing a university-level piece of work.

My experience on the A2S Scheme also paved the way for many valuable opportunities that have helped me to enhance my employability: it was through A2S that I found my first part-time job as a student ambassador, which included mentoring new A2S students; it was through A2S that I went on a plane and left the UK for the first time on a 2016 study tour to Washington, DC. Finally, it was at an A2S Summer School that I taught my first seminar to incoming A2S students. This experience has proven particularly valuable, as I am now in the final year of my PhD and will shortly be entering the academic job market.

I would like to thank the Ian Karten Charitable Trust for their support of the Access to Southampton Scheme and their funding of the A2S Scholarships, including my own. Having worked as both an A2S mentee and mentor, I have experienced and witnessed first-hand just how much the Trust’s generosity has been valued by students. Whether the scholarship goes towards travelling costs, books, accommodation or groceries, its contribution to my own sense of financial security and that of other A2S students, I know to be greatly appreciated. So thank you very much.”