Levelling Up: Maths, part of the Levelling Up: STEM scheme, is a sustained access and enrichment programme, created by the LMS, for students from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM subjects at university who are studying A-level maths. The goal is to help these students achieve a place, and succeed, at university in preparation for a career in STEM. The programme initially ran as pilot in 2021. It is now run in partnership with the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications (IMA).
Sustained “near peer” tutoring
Levelling Up: Maths is a collection of twenty-six modules delivered by near peers (second or third year maths undergraduates) to school students from underrepresented backgrounds in STEM subjects at university. Typically, this involves an undergraduate from a local university, ideally of a similar background, delivering the programme either online and/or in-person to a tutorial group of five students. Usually, the modules are delivered after the school day, starting in April of Year 12 and concluding in May of Year 13. The programme consists of intertwined academic enrichment and pastoral elements. The goal is as much about increasing social (and mathematical) capital as it is about improving attainment. In preparation for their career in STEM, the universities invite alumni of the programme to be part of a continuing support network.
Innovation and evaluation
Participating universities are charged with identifying both the tutors and the students to take part in the programme. Each university defines underrepresentation for their particular circumstance in line (in England) with their Access and Participation Plan (APP) and (typically) their maths departments are responsible for the delivery of the programme. In addition to inspiring, and improving the confidence of, the school students, Levelling Up: Maths also provides a valuable professional development opportunity for the undergraduate tutors. Working together, the IMA and the LMS help new universities to understand how to deliver the programme. They also carefully monitor the academic material providing updates as necessary ensuring the programme remains of high quality.