The University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen Football Club's successful partnership dedicated to supporting north-east communities and young people has been renewed for another year.
As the region recovers from the pandemic, the initiative between the University and AFC and AFC Community Trust (AFCCT), which began in 2018, has never been more important and will enable a range of engagement activities for young people including workshops in local schools and student placement opportunities.
The partnership agreement will see the University of Aberdeen Business School work with AFCCT colleagues to deliver fun and engaging workshops for primary and secondary school pupils in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, where pupils are tasked with designing creative marketing plans and sales strategies, using football clubs as examples. The workshops aim to raise aspirations, develop employability and business skills and give an insight into university life and the University of Aberdeen Business School.
The initiative has several aims, including addressing attainment issues among young people, attracting people from all backgrounds to higher education and providing work experience opportunities for University students with the Football Club and AFCCT.
Professor Peter Edwards, Vice Principal Regional Engagement and Regional Recovery, said: “Partnership working is essential to the Covid-19 recovery and the many current challenges facing our communities in the north-east. This partnership has been hugely positive for the area and I’m excited that we will be able to build on the good work going forward.
“Our founding principle is to be ‘open to all’ and part of that is engaging with our communities to encourage people from all backgrounds into higher education. We are delighted to once again be joining forces with the North East’s own football team to work together to improve life experiences and provide opportunities for our young people.
“The University and AFC are both committed to supporting our local communities and I’m looking forward to watching this partnership continue to grow and go from strength to strength over the next year.”
Robbie Hedderman, AFC Business Development Manager, added: “Our partnership with University of Aberdeen continues to be the perfect example of the positive impact a collaborative approach to education can have in our local community.
“As a Club and Trust we strive to raise the aspirations of our young people and this approach aligns with the University’s overarching desire to be ‘open to all’, encouraging people from a wide variety of backgrounds into higher education.
“The fun and engaging workshops in local schools have been very well received by primary and secondary pupils and we look forward to seeing this partnership flourish as it continues to provide real opportunities for young people in the north-east.”
AFCCT Chief Executive Liz Bowie said: “We are delighted to be continuing our successful partnership with the University of Aberdeen.
“AFCCT utilises the love of Aberdeen Football Club to engage young people in their education, working in numeracy, literacy, business and STEM subjects, in addition to physical and mental wellbeing.
“We work with over 12000 children in 25 schools across the region, driven by our aim to close the poverty attainment gap and raise the aspiration of the young people we work with. Partnering with the University of Aberdeen opens the eyes of many children to the possibilities of higher education and all that affords.
“I am looking forward to seeing the many positive impacts of this strong partnership on the young people in our community in the year ahead.”