SMRS and The Student Room launch Firsthand


Firsthand promises to ‘celebrate the positive and transformational impact of Universities one story at a time’. Dan Beynon, head of education at SMRS, introduces us to their new project.

Higher education transforms lives and this is worth celebrating. This is why we have created Firsthand. It’s a collection of real stories from people who’ve attended, worked at or experienced universities and colleges across the UK. You’ll find personal stories here not statistics. Inspiration, not infographics. And example after example of how universities have had a positive impact on diversity, opportunity and real lives.

At the moment Higher Education leaders are rightly being asked some tough questions related to value for money and facing a challenging atmosphere both in the media and in their relationships with students and staff. There are many sides to this debate and Firsthand is a place that will remind people of all the positive personal achievements that are enabled by everyone at our universities.

Universities are built on people and Firsthand will carry their stories.This initiative is aimed at many different audiences. The stories are about people whose lives have been transformed through Higher Education. They might illustrate the global nature of the experience, the impact on career aspirations and social mobility, lifelong friendships and personal development or opportunities to be involved in exciting impactful academic research.

We’ll be sharing the stories with potential students, their parents and teachers. But we also want to use the campaign to remind everyone working in Higher Education (and those making decisions fundamental to the future of the sector) that amazing personal triumphs are happening at our universities every day. Universities are about much more than league tables and are far more than simply businesses. Focusing on a transactional arrangement ignores much of what is so valuable about our Higher Education institutions.

Firsthand is supported by many universities, organisations and individuals involved in Higher Education so please get in touch to add your support to the project. You can do this by sharing your own personal story with us or sharing the Firsthand platform itself. You can send your stories to


Thursday, 31 May 2018

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SMRS and The Student Room launch Firsthand