About Us

Welcome to HeppSY!

The Higher Education Progression Partnership South Yorkshire (HeppSY) is part of the Uni Connect Programme, funded by the Office for Students. The main focus of Uni Connect is to provide targeted higher education outreach to young people in Years 9 to 13 living in particular geographic areas. From August 2021 this broadens out to include the targeting of adult learners (learners aged 19 and above).

HeppSY is a partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Sheffield, and South Yorkshire colleges and target schools.

We believe everyone should be able to make informed and inspired choices about their future, whoever they are, wherever they’re from. From college and university taster days to real-life projects with national companies, we give those who aren’t sure if college or university is for them a new perspective on higher education.

The aims of phase three, which are informed by the previous two phases, are to:

  1. Contribute to reducing the gap in higher education participation between the most and least represented groups.
  2. Equip young and adult learners from underrepresented groups to make an informed choice about their options in relation to the full range of routes into and through higher education and to minimise the barriers they may face when choosing the option that will unlock their potential.
  3. Support a strategic local infrastructure of universities, colleges and other partners that can cut through competitive barriers, offer an efficient and low-burden route for schools and colleges to engage, and address outreach ‘cold spots’ for underrepresented groups.
  4. Contribute to a stronger evidence base around ‘what works’ in higher education outreach and strengthen evaluation practice across the sector.

New for phase three

Phase three has some new aspects:

  • an increased focus on further education colleges. Leading to an expected increase in:
    • the involvement of further education colleges in partnership governance the proportion of Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) and outreach delivered in further education colleges a strengthening of IAG and outreach relating to the routes through higher education that are particularly enabled by further education colleges
  • an increased focus on adult learners
    • eligibility for targeted outreach to include all learners aged 19 or above studying at a further education college
  • stronger expectations for collaborative working
    • partnerships sharing approaches, resources and good practice.

Establishing a Progression Framework

Higher education outreach is most effective when delivered as a progressive, sustained programme of activity and through engagement over time. For phase three of the programme HeppSY has revised its progression framework and sets out a clear statement of the specific changes that are expected for an individual learner over time as a result of the activities undertaken as part of HeppSY targeted outreach.

Download our Progression Framework

The creation of an Outreach Hub

The HeppHUB provides free online resources for teachers and advisers as well as appropriate signposting to higher education related outreach activity within the Sheffield City Region. The HeppHUB builds on the successful partnership between Sheffield Hallam University and the University of Sheffield, which already provides impartial advice, support and online resources.

Visit the Outreach Hub here: https://www.hepp.ac.uk/


HeppSY are committed to safeguarding participants, staff and visitors in all its outreach activities with young people. Safeguarding is a priority for the team, and we aim to provide effective arrangements to ensure all learners are safe on University premises and where activity is delivered within their usual learning environment.

Download the HeppSY+ Safeguarding Policy