Tamsin has always had an interest in education, and has developed her career at the University of Cumbria.
“My parents worked in education and I always knew I’d be drawn into it,” said Tamsin, who grew up in Lancaster. “Earlier in my career, I worked for St Martin’s College, one of the legacy institutions for University of Cumbria, in administration and admissions.
“After gaining my postgraduate certificate in education there, teaching and then taking a career break to go travelling, I went back to St Martin’s, which later became part of the University of Cumbria. I worked in the educational outreach team and went into secondary schools to deliver presentations and workshops to help young people to think of higher education as an option for them.
“I then spent the next few years progressing and became manager of the UK Recruitment and Widening Participation Access Team, before becoming Head of Widening Participation.
“My heart and passion lies in the widening participation element. I really enjoy talking to people who might not see higher education as an option for them and giving them information, advice and guidance to make sure they’ve got all the options in front of them when making decisions about their future.
“It’s been really exciting to have the opportunity to work in that area for the University of Cumbria, which has raising aspirations and educational attainment at the heart of its mission, to ensure the institution has the systems in place to provide a level playing field to those with the desire and ability to go to university in terms of access and success.
“I’m also the Director of the Cumbria Collaborative Outreach Programme (CCOP), a consortium of partners made up of universities, FE colleges and employers delivering aspiration-raising outreach within Cumbria, which focuses on areas in Cumbria where there’s high levels of disadvantage alongside low progression into higher education, but where young people have the ability to progress to higher learning.
“The programme is about delivering sustained and intensive outreach work to support these young people to access and build all the information, skills, confidence and resilience to envisage higher education as a viable option for them.
“Sometimes young people in Cumbria aren’t aware of the range of opportunities on their doorstep, and the range of employers, skills and investment in the region. It’s a great opportunity for CCOP to work collaboratively with partners and initiatives such as Choose Cumbria to promote that.”