News story

Filtered and The Sutton Trust help disadvantaged students apply to university post COVID-19

London, UKLearning NewsFiltered

Young people everywhere are worried about what COVID-19 means for their transition to higher education. This uncertainty is particularly pronounced in students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have less of a safety net to fall back on. Sutton Trust and Bloomberg LP have partnered with Filtered to spearhead the development of a digital platform, Sutton Trust Online, designed to support disadvantaged students with university choices and applications.


Earlier this year, 6,000 Year 12 students from lower-income backgrounds were accepted to Sutton Trust Summer Schools or access initiatives from partner universities. However, in-person education is currently severely disrupted owing to the pandemic. Sutton Trust has therefore developed a way to get the students the support and opportunities they need through a new digital platform, Sutton Trust Online.


The new platform will incorporate everything the Summer Schools offered: academic content, guidance on applications and student finance, access to alumni, and insights into every-day university life. On top of this, applicants will take part in one of three hundred subject-specific courses, hosted by the universities whose summer schools they were supposed to attend. 


A customised version of Filtered’s magpie API will provide intelligent personal development recommendations to ensure that the right content gets to the right students. This means that every student gets the exact learning they need to help them with their specific application journey - complete with targeted support campaigns to keep learners engaged.


Binda Patel, Head of Innovation, The Sutton Trust

“This project is a perfect example of how charity and business can work together to solve educational challenges created by COVID-19. The Sutton Trust has brought together a group of fantastic partners who have placed young people and their needs at the forefront. Filtered and their magpie technology will make the platform smart, intuitive and personalised, so students can engage with content that is most relevant to them.” 


Marc Zao-Sanders, CEO, Filtered

“Far from being a “great equaliser”, COVID-19 and its consequences will disproportionately hurt less privileged students. Applying to and starting at university is daunting for many in normal times. But through this pandemic, increased financial insecurity and being cut off from in-school and in-college support makes the prospect even harder for precisely the students that are unfairly held back by various societal factors. The platform we are developing with The Sutton Trust will enable 6,000 students to get the world-class help they need and deserve. We’re very happy to be working on this important project.”


Filtered is working with The Sutton Trust, as well as other partners, to map content, build learning pathways and tag content. The finished platform will be launched to all 6,000 students this summer. To find out more about the project, read The Sutton Trust’s announcement here.