Plug into Salford

Plug into Salford is a programme designed to support young people who are the first in their family to attend university to settle into student life. 

The programme launched in 2020 and currently supports students from Salford City College who have secured a place at our university. 

The Programme

Open day bunting hanging in Peel Park

The students participate in a range of activities, including a three-day event on campus in early September which includes: 

  • An introduction to university services and where to find them
  • Group icebreaker sessions to get to know staff and other students
  • Workshops led by university staff and external speakers - sessions include managing finances, academic study skills, and career planning 

Participants are also matched with a peer mentor, one of our student ambassadors, who offers support for the first 4-6 weeks, to help them settle into life at Salford, as they understand what it can be like navigating higher education for the first time. 

Plug into Salford is a free programme, and participants receive a £1,000 bursary for taking part - all elements of the programme must be completed to be eligible for this non-repayable award. 

14 students were supported through the Plug into Salford programme in 2021/22, rising to 16 this year! 

The students

Hear from some of the Plug into Salford participants: 

"I really appreciate how generous and helpful the donor has been in order to award the bursary to those who attended the programme. Some people might not see it, but it can help someone to a great extent in the most difficult of times, as you can never imagine when or what a person is going through in life.



"I'd really like to thank you for making this programme and scholarship possible! Having knowledge of all the words in the world, I wouldn't be quite able to express my gratitude. 

"Being able to not only find out about the way of living as a university student but also being able to cover my expenses without having to burden my parents feels like the opportunity I'd never expected I could have."


"The bursary has impacted my life massively, as a parent of three boys and the rising energy prices, the transition period of swapping to Student Finance, I will find tough. So, I will put the money away and use it towards any household energy bills I may need to top up in the future. 

"I hope to be the palliative care nurse in the future and hope all my skills I have acquired along my journey (and Plug into Salford) will enable me to be a well-rounded, informative practitioner. 

Again, thank you to the donors who made the scholarship a possibility, your kindness is unwavering and will enable many first-generation students to have much more positive outcomes out of their university life.


The Importance

According to new research from the UCL Centre for Longitudinal Studies, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, first-in-family university students are 4% more likely to drop out than those with graduate parents. Similarly, data from the Office for Students (OfS), reinforces that students from the areas of lowest undergraduate participation in higher education are 37% less likely to continue at university if they are first-in-family. 

The research underlines the importance of equipping first-in-family students with more information and support, to enable them to navigate university life and succeed in higher education. 

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