The VI6 project which allows sixth form students to experience A levels in a higher educational setting was shortlisted in the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards in the Widening Participation and Outreach Initiative of the Year category. The VI6 project is the only project of its kind in the country where students can gain a head start in experiencing university life while pursuing the subjects that really inspire them. The programme is a partnership between the University of Essex, Clacton County High School, Philip Morant School and College, Clacton Coastal Academy, The Colne Community College and Thurstable High School. It has offered a wider choice of subjects for students and those who have participated in the programme have valued the opportunities to study subjects they might not be able to access in their own schools and see what university life is like. The facilities are excellent and there is an ongoing programme of joint sessions; lectures; seminars and activities to prepare students for their next steps. Thanks to the VI6 project student applications for higher education at partner schools have increased to 87%. The links between schools and the University of Essex have become closer thanks to the VI6 project and this really supports our work with students. The subjects currently offered at VI6 are Further Maths; Economics; French; Philosophy and Ethics; and Geography. If you wish to be considered for this programme as an option within your studies, please contact Miss Leatherby.