Enhancing pupils' aspirations to university: The St Andrews Sutton Trust School experience

Laurence Lasselle*, Fraser Keir, Ian Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The Sutton Trust Summer School offers to S5/Year 12 pupils the opportunity to sample student life for a week at one of five selecting universities in the UK. Most of the participants on the Sutton Trust Summer School will be the first generation in their family to attend university and have come from schools which traditionally send low numbers to university, especially the most highly selective universities. This paper examines the impact of the Sutton Trust Summer School on its young participants' aspirations towards university and to the University of St Andrews in particular. We find some unanticipated perceptions of such pupils regarding entry to higher education. A quarter of them, for example, are not in fact aware of any barriers to attending university. However, we show that Summer School attendance provides a significant confidence boost, especially for those who were initially worried about participating. For young males, friendship networks are an important source of information about the Summer School.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-410
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
Issue number4
Early online date5 Nov 2009
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009


  • Aspirations
  • Summer school
  • Widening access


Dive into the research topics of 'Enhancing pupils' aspirations to university: The St Andrews Sutton Trust School experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this