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Equality Archive

Using Evidence to Shape Public Policy 

Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation (CESI) Zones

Many of the key challenges facing society such as educational underachievement or poor physical and mental health are complex and multi-faceted. In seeking to identify and develop new and innovative ways of tackling these we need to think differently and creatively.

CESI works in sustained partnership with communities in Belfast and the professional and community organisations that support them. 

The Zones are spaces where existing assumptions and practices, can be questioned, and innovative ways of working can be created by drawing together and harnessing the considerable expertise that exists within local communities, the professions and the academic world.

Over the coming years CESI is committed to investing in the development of two long-term and sustained partnerships locally in West Belfast: Greater Shankill and Colin.

"Queen's are working with us through the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation to examine and evaluate what we are doing but also to guide what we are doing and to bring best practice and what works to bear. We are absolutely delighted we are on this journey with Queen's University - the Shankill and Queen's working together on a programme of transformation for children and young people."

Dr Jackie Redpath MBE

Chief Executive,

Greater Shankill Partnership 



Enhancing Computer Science Skills for Teachers and Pupils 


The :develop project improves the life chances and outcomes of a broad range of learners by widening access to university computing education.

:develop has two overarching objectives: firstly, to inspire pupils, particularly those from disadvantaged areas, to study computing through a range of school outreach programmes designed to improve their analytical and problem-solving skills and enable them to make informed subject choices.

Secondly, to provide sustained support for, and to upskill teachers in, the delivery of a curriculum leading to high-quality computing qualifications for students.

Moreover, :develop aims to open routes into higher education, supporting adult learners through continuing education.

The programme enhances the local knowledge economy by fostering a high degree of computer literacy in a fast-growing sector that is quickly becoming a key aspect of Northern Ireland's developing economy. 

 “The :develop project works in schools in areas of disadvantage to provide wider access to higher education in computer science and software engineering. Moreover, it equips local teachers with the skills to deliver the curriculum and to provide the training to their peers.”

Dr Neil Anderson

School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science 

Widening Access to Higher Education at Queen's 

Pathway Opportunity Programme

A unique programme which provides a route for talented young people from Northern Ireland who have the ability to study at Queen's University but may require additional support and encouragement to reach their full potential.  

The Pathway Opportunity Programme provides support for students to access their higher education at Queen’s University. The programme is open to Year 13 students from throughout Northern Ireland.

The programme provides a route for talented young people from Northern Ireland who have the ability to study at Queen's University but may require additional support and encouragement to reach their full potential.

Throughout Years 13 and 14, participants benefit from a structured series of events designed to aid progression to Queen's University, including receiving admissions guidance and support.

Those who successfully complete the Programme will benefit from receiving a reduced admissions offer for a programme of study at Queen's University, which may be up to two A-level grades (or equivalent) lower than the standard offer. They will also benefit from tailored transition events and support throughout their first year.

The programme has given our pupils the chance to experience student life at Queen’s University as well as a choice about their future career pathways. They can now choose to go to Queen’s University Belfast, whereas it may have been only a dream before this programme. It is a wonderful opportunity for our pupils to aspire, endeavour and achieve.”

Mrs Martine Mulhern

Principal, St Cecilia’s College, Derry




A University for All 

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at Queen’s

The project embodies a commitment to equality of opportunity, and to building a diverse and inclusive working environment.

As part of an ongoing commitment to equality of opportunity and creating a diverse workplace, Queen’s delivers a range of positive action and outreach measures to engage with various communities in the Greater Belfast Area.

This project, led by staff from the University’s Diversity & Inclusion Unit, seeks to increase awareness about Queen’s University as a potential employer by building meaningful relationships both internally and with external stakeholders.

Initiatives such as Behind the Scenes at Queen’s give those who may never have thought of working at the University a chance to explore the campus and meet members of staff in an informal and relaxed setting.

This project aims to build upon the excellent work already being delivered through various equality, diversity and inclusion activities.

This is a collaborative project, engaging staff and external stakeholders in developing opportunities for careers at Queen's, with a particular focus on reaching out to underrepresented groups within the Greater Belfast Area.

"Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Queen's ensures the University creates an environment where all our students and staff can enjoy being part of an open and diverse Queen's community"

Conor Curran

Diversity and Inclusion,

Queen's University