Alumnus Nic Humphries on supporting his alma mater to shape the educational prospects for young Salfordians
The newly opened IntoUniversity at the Beacon Centre in Salford is on track to improve the educational outcomes of thousands of students across Salford. The partnership between the University of Salford, the University of Manchester and IntoUniversity, the UK’s largest university-access charity, is only the second IntoUniversity centre in Greater Manchester and will build on the success of IntoUniversity, Manchester North, which opened in Harpurhey in 2018.
A Salford location was very much needed - in central Salford, more than half of young people are growing up in poverty, which has long-lasting effects on educational attainment (End Child Poverty, 2019).
The centre would not have been made possible without the generous support of its valued donors, one of which is Salford alumnus Nic Humphries.
Nic is the Senior Partner and Executive Chairman at Hg, an investor exclusively focused on building leading software and technology businesses across Europe and North America, with over 55,000 people employed across its businesses.
“It was the best time of my life,” says Nic of his university days. “The Madchester scene was happening at the time, so it was the place to be. It’s where I met my wife and my best friends which I still have twenty or thirty years later.”
Nic grew up in Mansfield and was the first in his family to go to university. He feels very fortunate to have studied at Salford as it “opened up a whole new world” for him.
“There were lots of bright people where I grew up who didn’t go to university, maybe only one or two percent did. It totally changed my life, I was very lucky to benefit from a good education,” he said.
Nic’s background is part of the reason he wanted to get involved in IntoUniversity Salford. 66% of students who attend the centres go on to progress to university, compared with 26.6% of students from similar backgrounds nationally.
“I want to give back,” he says. “Social mobility is completely essential. I’d encourage anyone to consider going to university, even if they are unsure if it’s for them. It opens up so many opportunities.”
It is not the first time Nic has supported University of Salford initiatives. Last year he launched the Hg Access to Tech scholarship programme. Each year the scholarship awards five students completing a STEM course - Science, Technology, Mathematics or Engineering - with a financial reward to support them during their undergraduate degree. The programme will initially run until 2024, with a total of 14 scholarships available during this period.
There are lots of opportunities in STEM in the area, believes Nic. “I always say Manchester is the best place on earth, but in the last few years it’s really developed – every time you visit you can feel the vibrancy and positivity, with a fantastic tech scene to top it off. Everyone comes together as one and that’s why I think it’s so successful.”
IntoUniversity Salford is now open, with a special launch event taking place early next year.
For all press office enquiries please email firstname.lastname@example.org.