Bolton’s hometown university has been singled out for helping to “change lives for the better.”

The university has been placed 14 out of 101 universities across England for improving students’ social mobility.

University of Bolton Vice Chancellor Professor George E Holmes says that this vindicates the institution’s status as a “widening participation” institution, which he says gives young people from all backgrounds the chance to get involved.

He said: “Social mobility is hugely important and it is an area we focus heavily on at Bolton. 

“Many of our students are the first generation of their families to get the opportunity to go to university and it is wonderful to see them improve their life chances, regardless of what background they are from or what stage they are at in their lives.”

The Bolton News: The University of BoltonThe University of Bolton (Image: University of Bolton)

The league tables are drawn up by the English Higher Education Social Mobility Index, which measures how people’s life chances are improved by going to university, and published by the Higher Education Policy Institute.

Rather than focusing on graduate salaries, the index focuses on how the university’s former students’ life chances have improved.

This year, the third that the index has been published, marks the first time it has been included universities beyond the top three.

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The University of Bolton’s social mobility ranking comes at an expansive time for the Deane Road based institution, which is currently looking to establish a medical school on the grounds of the new Bolton College of Medical Sciences in Farnworth.

Recently announced plans to rebrand as “The University of Greater Manchester” have sought to capitalise on this by making the university more appealing to overseas students, according to Professor Homes.

The University of Bolton was also recently named as thirtieth in the UK in the Guardian Best Universities Guide and achieved a gold Teaching Education Framework rating for student experience, as well as an overall silver rating. 

Professor Holmes said: “Widening access is very important to us and then when students do come to Bolton, they can be assured of a gold standard experience and the very best in teaching, as well as the support they may need while studying at university.”