Join Our Exciting MIT and WISE Research Project!

WISE is thrilled to announce a groundbreaking collaboration with the Department of Economics at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) on a new research initiative aimed at transforming how students navigate their university applications.

Why This Matters
Research indicates that students often rely more on informal advice from peers and parents when making university application choices, rather than on formal sources like admissions guides and university websites. This trend can exacerbate socioeconomic disparities, as students from different backgrounds have varying access to reliable information. Our project seeks to address and mitigate these inequalities, particularly in the UK, where recent studies have highlighted the issue.

About the Project
Our research will focus on Year 12 students, exploring how various interventions can influence their university and course choices. By participating, you will help us:

– Enhance equity in access to higher education
– Gain vital insights to close the gender gap in STEM fields

How Schools Can Get Involved
We invite schools and colleges to participate in this vital research during the Summer and Autumn Terms of 2024. Participation involves:

– Hosting a 1-2 hour in-person workshop on university applications for Year 12 students, randomized at the classroom level
– Administering two 15-minute surveys to participating students
– Signing a data-sharing agreement for relevant student academic records


WISE MIT collaboration -

Benefits for Participating Schools
– Directly contribute to research that aims to improve educational equity
– Provide your students with valuable resources and insights for their university applications
– Receive an exclusive invitation to our launch event in early 2025, where WISE and MIT will present the findings

If your school would like to participate, please register your interest here.

Universities Students, Please Join Our Initiative to Widen University Access!
Are you a university student who has recently been through the applications and admissions process? We invite you to contribute to this project by recording two short videos on different topics to assist Year 12 students during our workshops in Summer and Autumn 2024. Each video should be 2-3 minutes long and will be shown exclusively at the workshops.

– Video 1: The Application Process
– Video 2: Your University Experience

How to Participate
To participate, simply follow the guidance procedures here and record and send us your two videos. Your insights will be invaluable in guiding Year 12 students through their university application journey. Remember, your videos will be used only for the workshops and will not be posted online or shared beyond the workshops.

Take Action Now!

Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a transformative project. If you are interested in participating, please register your interest by clicking the button below, and we will get in touch with more details.

For any questions on school participation or university student videos, feel free to contact Shamineh Mavalvala at

Join us in making a difference in students’ futures and advancing educational equity!

Information Webinar

Hear from Nagisa Tadjfar and Kartikeya Vira, researchers at the Department of Economics at MIT who have partnered with WISE to run a research study on how to help students to make appropriate choices when applying to university and improve equity in access to university education in the UK.  

This webinar provides more details on our proposed study and what your school’s participation would entail.

Participating in this study will provide great benefits to your school as the MIT Research team will give invaluable insights into how your pupils make decisions that impact their future careers and their communities. The team will provide data-driven analysis to benchmark how well your students are maximising their academic potential compared to other schools.  In addition to this, the participating students themselves will benefit from the later stages of this study, by gaining a university student mentor.


– Introduction to the WISE/MIT Collaboration (Katherine Watson, WISE)
– Through the eyes of the employer: Benefits to your school and getting young people involved (Jess Bates, AtkinsRealis)
– Why your school should sign up for this WISE/MIT research (Nagisa Tadjfar and Kartikeya Vira, MIT Department of Economics)
– Q&A
– Next Steps and Closing Remarks
– Finish

A special thank you to WISE Member AtkinsRealis in helping support this collaboration through their school supply chain, bringing awareness to under-represented young people through their STEM Governors.