A new report using data from UCAS shows young people who take part in the extra- curricular National Citizen Service programme are significantly more likely to get into university, with an almost 50% increase in higher education participation for the most disadvantaged
Since its launch in 2009, NCS has given more than 300,000 young people from all social backgrounds the opportunity to spend four weeks experiencing the great outdoors, learning important life skills and volunteering in their local community.
This new social impact report revealed that the higher education participation rate for NCS grads was on average 12% higher than for non-NCS graduates. However, most marked was the impact of NCS on young people living in areas of low and medium participation in higher education. The data revealed NCS grads living in areas with the lowest rates of higher education participation were almost 50% more likely to go onto university or college than non-NCS grads – thereby closing the higher education participation gap between these areas and the current national average by more than half.
In addition, the research report released today also looked at the significant impact that NCS has on boosting wellbeing, increasing life satisfaction and reducing anxiety. Taken together with the impact on university admissions, it found that the government funded programme had a positive return on investment. For every pound invested in NCS, up to £8.36 was returned in social benefits.
This data is released on the day that the National Citizen Service Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent, having received cross party support. The legislation will help ensure that NCS is there for young people for generations to come, enshrining the programme in statute and granting it a Royal Charter. It will also help NCS to grow even more quickly, with the ability to write to all young people as they turn sixteen, inviting them to take part in the summer programme. This summer more than 100,000 young people are expected to take part in NCS, making it the largest and fastest growing youth movement for 16-17 year olds in the country.
Stephen Greene, Chair, NCS, said: “Today marks a milestone in the history of NCS. We are immensely proud of what the young people have achieved and the network of brilliant organisations who have made the programmes happen. Receiving Royal Assent recognises the vital role that NCS has in helping young people realise the difference they can make to their futures, their communities and their country. As we make the transition to being a Royal Charter body we will be seeking ways to partner with even more organisations, helping us ensure NCS is accessible to every young person in the land.”
National Citizen Service (NCS) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity open to 15- 17 year olds across England. It is a unique two or three week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery, plus 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society. On this government backed programme, participants build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and adventures, making new friends, and contributing to their community. To find out more information about NCS, visit ncsyes.co.uk.
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