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


London, UK
AccessEd is ‘going global’. We are scaling up a university access solution that grew out of the UK education system and started with The Brilliant Club. This solution is based on recruiting, training and placing academic researchers in schools to support young people to develop the skills to access university. We currently run programmes in Botswana, Hong Kong, Ireland, South Africa and the USA.

Mobilising Researchers Globally

“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.”

The Right Honourable Nick Gibb, Member of Parliament and Minister of State for School Standards, UK.

Higher education is an engine of social mobility, supporting positive economic and social outcomes for young people from under-served communities. However, across developing and developed countries, a young person’s chances of progressing to university and completing an undergraduate education are significantly influenced by socio-economic background. 

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 mobilising research communities to share their academic expertise with schools. 

PhD researchers are uniquely placed to help young people develop the knowledge and skills needed to access higher education. This model grew out of the UK education system and started with The Brilliant Club. The Brilliant Club now works with over 11,000 young people and there is growing evidence that its programmes are delivering significant impact.

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

We are currently incubating new 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 and advocate for our mission globally.

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Innovation Overview
10 - 18
Age Group
11 000
1 226
Tips for implementation
We are looking for new partners and supporters who are aligned with our mission and values; have local knowledge and networks; education expertise; and capacity to commit to developing and leading, or supporting, a new university access programme.
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AccessEd in South Africa
AccessEd in Hong Kong
AccessEd in Ireland
Co-Founder Journey and The Brilliant Club in the UK
Our Global Strategy: Fair University Access for All 2018-2023


Achievements & Awards


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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Learn more about university access in your community
We know that unequal access to education leads to wider inequalities, including poverty, lower social mobility and the impoverishment of communities. Is university access fair in your local community? What barriers exist to higher education for young people from under-represented backgrounds?
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Apply to the AccessEd Incubator to start your own programme
AccessEd recruits partners that share our values, and who demonstrate the passion and potential to develop programmes that adapt and implement our blueprint in their local context.
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Connect to the AccessEd Network
The AccessEd network brings together university access programmes to share learning, co-ordinate activity and advocate for our mission.
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Support our work
Our objective is to support the development of partner organisations in up to 10 countries by 2023. This will enable us to reach more than 15,000 young people a year and create a global movement of university access organisations committed to our mission.
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