Generating Genius

Working with Universities: The creation of a talent development model (The case of African Caribbean students)

Aims and Objectives

There is a need to capture our good practice and disseminate data/stories amongst stakeholders:

  • We would aim to scope our existing good practice and innovation with our current/future University partners.
  • Establish a dialogue – communication template where our HEI providers can work more closely with us
  • We would look to create a shared best practice base (on-line) which our HEI partners can use as a resource for data, activities and a better understanding of the community they are targeting.


Our talent development model does require Universities to think more strategically about how they do wider participation. The targeting of specific students over a sustained period of time is new to UK Universities working with school students. The ability to use third sector as a source for funding, expertise and role models is fundamental to our model. Another key aspect is how best to use University resources be they lecturers or special equipment. We want Universities to see themselves as Coaches of scientific talent akin to what happens in the football and cricket academies. The project will come up with realistic models of engaging top Universities to embark on a longer and deeper relationship with talented students from under-represented groups. Although this project specifically looks at African Caribbean students, it can be transferred as a template for working with other groups. The project seeks to capture the pivotal position of the Third Sector Organisation in supporting Universities and making the vital links to students and their parents. Currently we have a number of programmes with Universities and about to embark on some new ones. All our partners have requested a longer term relationship seeking to develop talent amongst African Caribbean students. We need to build a model not just about the content but how did we achieve our goals around talent development and what an effective partnership with these Universities will look like.


The project will also look at what it takes for Universities and third sector groups to have a sustained relationship. We would want to develop virtual and real links with University partners. This will mean a combination of developing a model website presence that does give us a unique connection with our institutional partners. Alongside this we would use digital platforms such as e-newsletters, blogs, apps and social media like Twitter. These outputs would become best practice templates for other organisations doing similar work. We are particularly interested in the ‘brokering’ elements of our expertise. This is where Universities can be part of a matrix of support for disadvantaged talented students working alongside corporates, schools, voluntary sector and others within their own institution to develop a talent development plan.