The Bridge Group is an independent policy association promoting social mobility through higher education. The association offers Westminster and other policy makers expert guidance on policy, drawing on the expertise of our professional network of associates and the collation of research and evaluation evidence.
The Association pursues the following aims:
- To influence the development of local, regional and national policy and strategy relating to social mobility and higher education;
- To promote greater awareness and clearer understanding of the social mobility agenda;
- To identify, share and commission research on matters of relevance to social mobility;
- To establish and maintain a network through which associates can share information, experience and good practise relating to social mobility and higher education, and engage with other stakeholders to meet these goals.
The Bridge Group attracts a broad range of experienced colleagues to its network of associates, to provide opportunities to share expertise across various sectors, institutions and bodies, as well as help inform policy recommendations. The Group is non-partisan. As such, colleagues are invited to contribute independently of their employer and/or any other institution with which they are associated.
The Bridge Group is open to individuals with an interest in social mobility policy and practice that is directly or indirectly linked to higher education. Members should share the aims of the Bridge Group and be willing to contribute their experience to policy discussions.
The output of Bridge Group meetings will be in the form of policy recommendations for Government, the professions and education institutions. The network is encouraged to contribute their views and experience.
Dr Tessa Stone - Chair
Tessa is Chief Executive of BrightsideUNIAID, having joined in 2009 following 6 years as Director of the Sutton Trust. Tessa was previously a Research Fellow in History and Admissions Tutor of Newnham College, Cambridge. Tessa is a Trustee of the Children's University Trust, IntoUniversity, the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation, and Accessprofessions.com; a governor of Brentwood School in Essex, Channing School in London and the Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge; a member of the History and Policy Advisory Group; a National Education Trust 'Leading Thinker'; and an Associate of Newnham College, Cambridge.
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Anthony Dursi - External Relations Lead
Anthony is Recruitment & Outreach Manager at The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple, Inn of Court. He was previously the Head of Civic Responsibility and Senior Adviser at the Russell Group of Universities with particular focus on admissions and widening participation. He has worked in the Office of the President at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (New York) and in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). He currently sits on the Bar Council's Social Mobility Committee, the body responsible for development and implementation of social mobility initiatives for the Bar of England and Wales, and is regularly quoted on issues of social mobility and the professions. He also acts as a policy adviser for EMF Partners on corporate social responsibility and strategic human resources.
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Dr Penelope Griffin - Policy Lead
Penelope is Head of Widening Participation at the University of Nottingham. She has ten years' experience in policy development, change implementation and program management in relation to widening participation, admissions, and fees and funding. This includes a secondment as Professional Consultant to the Admissions to Higher Education Review (2003-2004), chaired by Professor Steven Schwartz. Penelope has led the Russell Group Association for Widening Participation on a number of initiatives, the most recent being the inaugural joint teachers' conference in May 2009.
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Kenton Lewis - Communications Lead
Kenton is Head of Widening Participation & Student Recruitment at St George's, University London with ten years of experience in strategic development and policy implementation in relation to fair access, widening participation, student recruitment and admissions practices. Kenton has presented nationally and internationally on these topics, with a particular focus on access to medicine and the professions allied to medicine. He is currently in the final year of his Doctorate at the Institute of Education, University of London, investigating the influence of individual and institutional culture(s) on the construction of professional and personal identities for Higher Education students and staff. He is a Fellow and Council member of the Association of University Administrators, a member of the St George's, University of London governing body, and a Governor of Ernest Bevin College in South London.
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Nik Miller - Operations Lead
Nik is a manager in the University of York's Development Office, and previously worked at the University of Warwick and in the USA. Since joining York, he has pioneered the University's widening participation work, fundraising over 1M GBP and managing programmes with companies such as Google, Goldman Sachs and Shell. Nik has designed collaborative programmes with numerous leading universities, advised the Cabinet Office and the Department for Education on policy, and presented at international conferences. He recently completed his MBA with distinction and his work is now focused on fundraising, commercial relations, and engaging alumni in professional networks to promote employability. He is vice-chair on the governing body at York High School and has undertaken a range of consultancy projects, with clients including the European Commission, The University of Hull and Cass Business School.
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