Case study

Changing Lives: Inspiring children to Make Your Mark

21 Mar 2017

Middlesex University London’s ground-breaking Make Your Mark campaign engages children as young as 11 in the higher education choices and skills they will need for their future careers. 

Make Your Mark was developed to inspire children from a younger age to make sure they know what they need to do to tap into the 41,000 new jobs that are predicted to be created in London alone every year, many of which will require a degree. Research by Middlesex University London showed there is a lack of accessible skills and careers information for school pupils between 11 and 16, with business and Government also recognising the importance of early engagement with young people.

Education is seen to be one of the answers to increasing social mobility, with universities such as Middlesex at the frontline of raising aspirations among London’s young people.

Middlesex University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tim Blackman said: “It is more important now than ever before that young people understand that an increasing number of jobs in the future will require a degree, and are aware of the different pathways open to them to get the qualifications and skills they will need.

“Make Your Mark is a critical part of our wider outreach programme at Middlesex University, where we aim to inspire young people from all backgrounds to become the graduates that will be the essential doers and makers of the London and world economies.

“With our excellent employability record, our connections with business and our contribution to the London economy, universities like Middlesex should be recognised as a vital component in increasing social mobility.”  

Neil Carberry, CBI Director for People and Skills policy, said: “We know that inspiring children through high quality education can help change their lives and bolster the economy. Raising aspirations, showing the world of possibilities available and how to best take advantage of them lays the groundwork for their success.

“Ambitions are formed at a young age, so it’s great to see Middlesex University London engaging with students at the beginning of secondary school, to help them start mapping their path to the future career they want.”

Central to the campaign is a website – – which features a range of interactive resources including quizzes, videos and blogs. These cover many of the topics young people are concerned about including studying for A-Levels, choosing a university and exploring alternative routes into higher education such as apprenticeships.

As part of a continuing programme of activities for Make Your Mark, Middlesex University has hosted debating and junior entrepreneur competitions together with a ‘Girls in Science Day’ event giving hundreds of students across London the chance to make their mark.

Michelle Dale at St Mary’s and St John’s School, Hendon, said: “The Make your Mark scheme at Middlesex University has proved an invaluable experience for students at our school. I have noticed a marked increase in self-confidence and aspiration after each visit, as each child has an increased understanding of the choices open to them in their future.”

The University is working with businesses and skills suppliers to expand partnerships across the region and there has already been significant interest from other schools to support careers advice using career cluster funding.

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