What is the 93% Club?
The university society was established in 2016 at the University of Bristol, and stands for the 93% of students educated in state schools in the UK, but who remain underrepresented in the working world. Since then, it has become one of the largest student mobility networks, expanding to various universities. It aims to reconcile the disparities between private and state school students through outreach, workshops and policy initiatives to encourage upwards social mobility, and provide those with a state school education numerous chances which did not exist previously. I had the privilege of interviewing the co-founder of the UCL branch, Tania Tang. She spoke to me about the aims and actions of the society, as well as emphasising the necessity for a society of this type at UCL.
Tania stated that the society aims to provide resources to bridge the gap between private and state educated students, as a disparity continues to exist even at and beyond university, despite there being no difference in academic ability.
State school educated students are less likely to receive degree funds from their parents, resulting in many having to work alongside studying for a degree, detracting from time for studying, networking, or carrying out in depth career research. Unfortunately, this is the reality of many state educated students who have already faced numerous barriers prior to university as a result of their socio-economic background.
Many state educated students are placed at a disadvantage due to the lack of privilege from connections of parents or family members. Tania mentioned the ways in which getting into the working world heavily correlates with having connections. Therefore, the society hosts social events and focuses on various career paths, such as law, to provide students with insight as well as the opportunity to form vital connections.
How Can Students That Join Get Involved With The 93% Club?
To be informed of upcoming events, be sure to follow the society on Instagram. They have recently formed a committee and subcommittee so in coming years there will be roles of responsibility which students can assume within the society. If you would like to be part of the committees, Tania suggests emailing the society and pitching your ideas for the society. You will then go through the application process. If you would like more information on this, you can email or message the co-founders or the society for more information.
Changes due to COVID-19
I was pleased to find out that despite these unprecedented times we live in, there has been a silver lining in terms of forming a society, allowing greater reach. More students are willing to join online events and speak on issues, as well as raising awareness of the society, whereas Tania believes the turnout would have been lower had COVID-19 not existed, as the society is in its founding year.
For first year students, the online events have been a great way of meeting new people, as well as transitioning into university, allowing them to overcome various social challenges related to careers such as networking.
Post Covid, the society hopes to continue with online events, but also have the best of both worlds where once we are able to socialise freely once again.
For more info: Website: https://www.93percent.club/ Linktree: https://linktr.ee/93clubucl Instagram: https://instagram.com/93percentclubucl?igshid=1oxbalpj26osw Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/93clubucl/