Campus and Community

IntoUniversity: 2022-23 Impact

As we reflect on the achievements of the past year, we are thrilled to share the incredible impact of IntoUniversity at the Beacon Centre. Through our collaborative efforts and the generous support of our donors, we have made significant strides in empowering young people and transforming communities.

In the 2022/23 academic year, IntoUniversity Salford Central opened its doors to almost 1,000 students, providing them with structured academic support and invaluable resources. From tailored curriculum workshops for primary students to Future Readiness projects for secondary students, our programs have inspired a love for learning and equipped students with essential skills for success.

66% of Salford Central students have progressed into HE, compared to a local average of 20%, and we are delighted that 22 IU students, will join the University of Salford in 2024.

Parent feedback speaks volumes about the positive impact of our programs, with one parent expressing gratitude for the structured after-school sessions and exposure to a variety of topics. Through workshops, university visits, and hands-on projects, students have gained confidence, and developed a clearer understanding of their future educational pathways.

The dedication of our partner schools and the commitment of our passionate staff have been instrumental in driving positive outcomes for students. As highlighted by a headteacher at one of our partner primary schools, our programs have not only improved academic attainment but have also instilled a sense of aspiration and confidence in students.

However, challenges remain, particularly in light of the pandemic’s long-term effects on disadvantaged students. These challenges empower us to continue supporting young people from all backgrounds, ensuring that they have the opportunity to realize their full potential.

As we celebrate 20 years of IntoUniversity’s impact, we are deeply grateful for the support of our donors and we look forward to empowering even more futures in the years to come.

Arts and Culture

Wallace Seymour: Graduate Painting Scholarship

We are pleased to announce a new Painting Scholarship by Wallace Seymour to the University of Salford Art Collection and School of Arts Media and Creative Technology Graduate Scholarship Programme, run in partnership with Castlefield Gallery. 

Wallace Seymour formed by Rebecca Wallace and Pip Seymour have been offering fine art products since 2011. They began a programme of high-quality painting and drawing materials, through their shared vision to provide artists with the maximum potential for expression through colour. They have created unique ranges of oil, acrylic, watercolour (tube and pan), gouache, hand-made soft pastel, hand-made drawing materials, primers, and painting mediums for artists.

Through the scholarship, Wallace Seymour is generously providing one of the University of Salford’s graduating art students with £1,000 worth of art materials from their extensive catalogue. The scholarship opportunity will also include Wallace Seymour offering their expert advice, on how to use and process the materials.

We look forward to sharing who will be awarded this amazing opportunity and the artwork they produce.

Student Engagement

Plug Into Salford: Empowering First-Generation Students in Their Higher Education Journey

At the University of Salford, we are committed to transforming lives and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to realize their full potential. To that end, we’re pleased to introduce you to the ‘Plug Into Salford’ initiative, designed to support first-generation students as they embark on their higher education journey.

Research shows that first-generation students face unique challenges and are more likely to drop out of university compared to their peers with graduate parents. The Plug Into Salford programme aims to address this disparity by providing tailored support to help these students settle into university life and succeed academically, alongside a £1,000 bursary.

Through a series of workshops, introductions to university services, and peer mentoring opportunities, students receive the guidance and resources they need to navigate the challenges of university life. The programme not only equips students with practical skills but also instills confidence and a sense of belonging within the university community.

However, the current cost-of-living crisis and ongoing challenges faced by first-generation students highlight the urgent need for increased support.

With your support, we can expand the reach of this vital programme, ensuring that more first-generation students have access to the resources and support they need to succeed. By investing in the Plug Into Salford initiative, you’re not only changing individual lives but also contributing to a more equitable and inclusive higher education system.

We invite you to be part of this transformative initiative and make a difference in the lives of first-generation students at the University of Salford. Together, we can empower these students to thrive and realize their potential in higher education.

To find out how you can support first-in-family students at Salford, please contact Hannah Fox, Development Manager -Major Gifts’.


BNY Mellon – Business in Focus Event

BNY Mellon, one of the funding partners of the IntoUniversity centre at the Beacon Centre in Salford, recently collaborated with students for an enriching volunteering opportunity. Hosted at BNY Mellon’s offices, the event welcomed 30 Year 10 students from IntoUniversity Salford Central for a Music Charity Business in FOCUS Day.

The Business in FOCUS Day offered an immersive experience where students formed teams to create, promote, and manage their own charitable initiatives. Guided by 13 BNY Mellon volunteers, the students delved into real-world business scenarios, learning invaluable lessons in teamwork, communication, and leadership.

Volunteers mentored and advised the students, helping them discover their strengths, step out of their comfort zones, and effectively communicate their ideas. The day culminated in the students showcasing their efforts, demonstrating teamwork and professionalism.

Reflecting on the experience, both volunteers and students expressed enthusiasm for the learning opportunities provided. When asked what they had enjoyed most about the session, one volunteer said, ‘Seeing the confidence of the children grow and achieve more than they thought possible’.

Meanwhile, students relished the chance to work as a team, tackle challenges head-on, and interact with professionals in a genuine business setting.

BNY Mellon’s commitment to supporting education is really highlighted through events like the Business in FOCUS Day. By fostering collaboration and skill development, BNY Mellon continues to make a meaningful impact on the lives of students at IntoUniversity Salford Central.

Campus and Community

Building Futures: Oli Hurst’s Brick by Brick Project and the Salford Advantage Fund’s Support

One of the fund recipients for 2023 / 2024 was awarded to Oli Hurst, who is the company director for Red Brick theatre company. Red Brick is a group of University of Salford graduates from the Theatre and Performance Practice degree. Red Brick were commissioned through the Salford Advantage fund to direct students and recent graduates in a two-night gig at The New Adelphi Theatre.

Since graduating in 2021, Oli has been working with the Young Vic as a member of their Fresh Directions 2023/24 cohort. As part of this programme, he will be part of the team developing and directing a new play Bad Moult (Winner of the Cambridge Creatives Playwrighting Award) by Robin Cantwell.

In addition to this, Oli is currently Assistant Directing David Thacker in a revival of David Mamet’s American Buffalo. His recent work also includes the first professional UK revival of Simon Stephens’ Pornography and he’s about to start directing The BBC’s First Homosexual as part of BBC100 celebrations, for a national tour.

The project started with some introductory workshops which allowed students to understand the project, learn about the process; from workshops, auditioning and then rehearsing for the shows. Students had to audition for the performances and received some mock audition training to help ease them into the process.

Once the cast was formed, rehearsals began! Students from Technical Theatre were also included and supported the production, from lighting and sound, so simple set management.

One of the Level 5, Theatre and Performance Practice students, Lucy Ryan, has said, ‘I really enjoyed “Brick by Brick” it was a really useful experience to work with Oli and Tilly. They were both brilliant, I really liked their way of working, such as ‘mining the text’,  their dynamic ways of playing with scenes, and their use of fun warmup activities in the workshops. The talks on working in the industry were also really helpful, particularly the tips they offered. This experience was so helpful’.

An unforeseen plus on this project was that we were also working with a 23-24 graduate scholar, and she was able to support the performance as part of her own scholarship project, which is another great way to get our current students thinking about all the opportunities open to them post graduating.

Thank you to alumni, friends, and supporters who made this project possible.

Student Engagement

University of Salford HackCamp 2024: Industry-Driven Projects

The University of Salford HackCamp, led by Professor Julian Bass, enables second-year Computer Science and Software Engineer students to collaborate in teams on an intensive software development project. The program involves engaging with industry partners, including Matillion, Morsons, ABL, Competa, Red Ocelot, BCS Manchester, the Chartered Institute for IT, Chippy Digital and IRIS Software Group. Over 150 students took part in the programme where they approached a range of challenges, including dynamic user experience, customer feedback aggregation and placement search, which is then assessed and judged by the industry experts and academics. 

‘Our HackCamp partners, play a vital role in helping students understand how software projects work in practice’ said Prof Bass. The projects ‘provide a fantastic opportunity to work with industrial partners and experienced practitioners, applying the agile software development methods they learn about in class’ he said.

Kate Whitmore, Talent Programme Manager, and John Ferguson, Head of Architecture and Engineering from IRIS Software Group took part in the programme again this year and their brief was for the students, ‘to create solutions that could help us calculate, analyse and report our cloud carbon footprint.’ They were both extremely impressed with our students, commenting, ‘the student presentations were excellent, and the amount of work each of the teams had managed to achieve in just a few short weeks was impressive. What was particularly interesting was how each of the three teams approached the brief in different (yet complementary) ways: one focusing on automation; one on installation, and the other on data visualisation. It’s been fantastic working with the students; giving them some experienced of real-world problem solving and get their fresh and unique perspectives on issues we’re working on in the business.’

The value of participating in HackCamp is immeasurable for our students, providing them with practical industry exposure and opportunities to network with actual employers. One of the HackCamp participants, Sheikh Atif, a Second Year Software Engineering Student said, ‘Hackcamp is a great opportunity to challenge yourself. Not everything will go to plan when you’re working in the industry, Hackcamp will introduce realistic challenges and difficulties for the team to develop their skills collectively as well as individually. Hackcamp will benefit your technical skills, interpersonal skills, and a variety of other areas. IRIS has been a fantastic partner to work with. Our group had John Ferguson as our contact, who was incredibly useful and supportive with all the information we needed. He provided us with prompt feedback, alongside useful guidance. We definitely recommend getting involved with IRIS for future projects.’

Academic colleagues are now tirelessly working through the awarding process, and we can’t wait to celebrate the winning students.

Students and Scholarships

Scholar Spotlight: Matt Littlewood

Matt Littlewood is a first year Architectural Engineering student at the University of Salford and is one of the first scholars to receive a Scholarship from Barratts. They are a leading national sustainable housebuilder, and are the headline partner of The University of Salford’s Friends of Energy House Labs charitable programme with a donation of £105,000 which has funded five scholarships and has contributed to towards the Impact Fund.

Matt is extremely grateful to Barratts for this scholarship as it will allow them to purchase materials that will support them to continue to excel on their course. Matt has said, ‘ my current laptop does not support the design software I need, I am therefore planning to use part of my scholarship to buy a new laptop. This will have a positive impact on my academic progress as it will speed up the turnaround time on the work I need to produce. This would not be possible without this scholarship.’

Matts future ambitions is to work in an architecture practice, ideally specialising in sustainable design as he feels this is an important area for the future. Matt is particularly interested in the Barratt’s Z-House which we are also very lucky to have here on our central campus. Matt said, ‘this is an amazing example of how future homes can be environmentally sustainable and is a source of inspiration.’

We look forward to hearing more about how Matt progresses further into his academic journey and growing as an industry professional.

Friends of Energy House 2.0 Blogs

Seddon: A mission to create affordable homes

At the core of our 125-year-old family-owned business, we have a mission to create better affordable homes, as a foundation for people to build better lives. We do this by undertaking domestic refurbishment and retrofit, new build homes and a wide variety of MEP works.

We have continuously supported the initiative to drive innovative work-leading research to support areas that are critical to a national move towards net-zero housing. Through funding opportunities such as the School Green Summit, we have significantly raised the profile of sustainable construction. This translated in our recent commitment to the Friends of Energy House Initiative.

Our involvement in this project allowed us not only to raise the profile of sustainability on an internal basis, but also review and capture our place in new markets such as Retrofit. The Friends of Energy House has opened up a new network to deliver sustainable work and developmental projects such as an IPHD programme in collaboration with the National Trust Association and the University of Salford.

Friends of Energy House 2.0 Blogs

Hg Capital: Integral Role of Research and Technological Advancements in Achieving Net-Zero Goals

Energy House 2.0 is supported by partners of Hg, which is a leading investor in European and transatlantic software and services businesses.

Hg invests in and supports business that supply critical software applications or workflow services, delivering a more automated workplace for their customers.

This industry is characterised by digitization trends that are in early stages of adoption and are set to transform the workplace for professionals over decades to come. Hg’s support combines deep end-market knowledge with world class operational resources, together providing compelling support to entrepreneurial leaders looking to scale their business – businesses that are well invested, enduring and serve their customers well.

With a vast European network and strong presence across North America, Hg backs 50 businesses, worth over $135 billion aggregate enterprise value, with over 100,000 employees, consistently growing revenues at more than 20% annually.

A spokesperson at Hg, said: ‘As a technology investor we’re big believers in progress through innovation. Research and technology advancements are going to be a significant part of any net-zero aspirations.  It’s great to see the University of Salford facilitating unique and specialised research, that has the potential to pave the way for a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. We are proud to support a transformative project at the cutting edge of progressing low carbon and net zero housing.’

Friends of Energy House 2.0 Blogs

Elmhurst Energy: Leading the Way in UK Energy Assessment, Retrofit, and Professional Training

With three decades of experience, Elmhurst is the UK’s largest independent provider of energy assessment, retrofit and property professional training, software, and accreditation. Elmhurst has trained tens of thousands of individuals, providing them with industry recognised qualifications, and the skills required to build a successful career in energy assessment.

Elmhurst’s unrivalled technical support, innovative software and comprehensive training mean that our members are well-equipped to assess domestic and non-domestic buildings and complete accurate Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs). With our expansive membership, Elmhurst now processes over 70% of all EPC submissions in the UK.

Alongside our high-quality products and services, Elmhurst continues to drive the industry forward by pushing for important changes in regulation. We aim to ensure that the topic of energy efficiency is always at the forefront of the political and business agenda and that progress is being made toward a more sustainable and energy efficient future.

Elmhurst’s Involvement in Friends of Energy 2.0

Elmhurst is a proud member of Friends of Energy House 2.0 and a donor to the Impact Fund. We are currently working with the Energy House team on several key areas to better understand how buildings perform and how to address the various challenges of achieving net zero buildings.

The laboratory itself allows us to see and understand the actual performance of buildings and services in ‘real world’ conditions. This includes extreme temperatures and weather conditions, which have become more prominent in recent decades in the UK. Particular focus will also be placed on SAP results modelling for future homes and the systems that are being installed.

Research conducted at the facility will allow the industry to gain a better understanding of the actual energy performance of buildings and consider important changes to the regulations and methodologies. On a wider scale, this will play a crucial role in accelerating the UK’s progress toward low carbon and net zero housing; while also playing a key part in the battle to reduce fuel poverty, tackle climate change, and create more comfortable and safe buildings for everyone.

Andrew Parkin, Technical Development Director

I am thrilled that Elmhurst is a member of Friends of Energy House 2.0. This partnership underscores our unwavering commitment to drive for net zero buildings and create a more sustainable industry.

The research conducted will continue to drive the industry forward. We will not only gain a better understanding of the energy performance of buildings, both old and new, but can start to make vital updates to the regulations and methodologies that govern this environment. Even better, the research has the potential to transcend industry and reshape our collective thinking and understanding of energy efficiency.

I am personally looking forward to seeing how new technologies and measures develop and become part of our armoury of solutions in the battle against climate change, particularly as the country’s 2050 net-zero target approaches the horizon.

I look forward to our continuing work with the Energy House team and to seeing the progress made from this important research.