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AccessEd exists to increase access to university and higher education for young people from under-served backgrounds globally.

AccessEd believes young people deserve to access quality education at the highest level. We help local-global partners incubate, build and scale new university access solutions based on a model from the award-winning UK charity The Brilliant Club. This solution is based on mobilising the passion and expertise of academic PhD students to tutor in schools to support young people to develop the skills to access university and creating rich materials to support programme growth. We currently run programmes in the UK, Botswana, Hong Kong, Ireland, South Africa and Malaysia.

HundrED 2019


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED 2019

Web presence






October 2018
Widening university access, valuing the importance of subject knowledge, and research-based teaching are three areas where teachers with PhDs can have an enormous impact.

About the innovation

Levelling the Playing Field Globally

Higher education can change what's possible for a young person, driving social and economic growth for a country as well as for that individual. However, we also know that gaining access to higher education especially the elite institutions is heavily connected to socio-economic background, which is why we use our model to create extra enrichment and support for the students who need it the most.

AccessEd seeks to tackle the problem of unequal access to higher education by supporting local partners to design and pilot new university access programmes. These programmes adapt and implement our approach to building a linking programme for universities, mobilising their research (PhD, post-doctorate) communities to share their academic expertise with schools and build their capacity to keep the solution suited to the needs of young people in their area. Tutors work with small groups of students to support them on their journey to higher education.

PhD researchers are uniquely placed to help young people develop the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to access higher education. This model grew out of the UK education system and started with The Brilliant Club, which places PhD tutors and trained teachers in schools.

AccessEd exists to unlock the potential of PhD researchers and university expertise across the world to support young people from under-represented backgrounds access university.

We currently incubate university access programmes in five countries. These local programmes belong to the AccessEd global network which exists to connect university access innovations, share best practice between universities and schools, and advocate for our mission globally.

Impact & scalability

Implementation steps

Learn more about university access in your community
Read more about the problem and global context in our strategy.
Apply to the AccessEd Incubator to start your own programme

We run a three-stage assessment process that includes an expression of interest, a detailed written application proposal and an in-person assessment.

New partners are assessed for their alignment with AccessEd’s mission and values; local knowledge and networks; education expertise; and their capacity to commit to developing and leading a new programme.

Get in touch to find out more about our next application window.

Connect to the AccessEd Network

Being part of this community offers organisations direct programme support, access to global expertise, connections with other innovative programmes and leadership development opportunities. Together, this support helps members to improve the impact and the reach of their work.

To find out about upcoming network events, contract us directly.

Support our work

In order for AccessEd to scale over the next five years and reach 15,000 young people, we need support to fund our frontline programmes.

To illustrate the potential, The Brilliant Club was founded five years ago in London with a generous grant of £100,000. The organisation now works with 10,000 students per year, and is the largest university access programme in the UK.

Through your partnership and support, AccessEd will be able to freely share its expertise and resources with partners, helping to build many more organisations like The Brilliant Club over the next five years.

Please contact us todiscuss how you can support our work.


Spread of the innovation

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