University Partnership Manager


31st August 2022

upReach is an award-winning social mobility charity supporting students from less-advantaged backgrounds to secure graduate jobs in sectors including Banking & Finance, Investments, Law, Consulting, Government & Public Sector and Technology. We deliver a comprehensive programme of professional development to 3000 students, working in close partnership with leading employers such as Allen & Overy, Civil Service, Goldman Sachs, PwC, and Slaughter and May.

In October 2019, upReach won the Charity of the Year Award (income < £1m) in the prestigious Charity Times Awards, and the charity also won the “Embracing Digital” award in the 2020 Charity Governance Award. In 2021 upReach’s work on the Social Mobility Network was a finalist in the Third Sector Awards ‘Breakthrough of the Year’. The charity was also a finalist in three categories at the Charity Times 2021 Awards including ‘Best use of Technology’ and the ISE Awards 2021 for our partnership with the University of Exeter. One of only nine winners in the “Promoting Opportunities” category, upReach received a 2022
Queen’s Award for Enterprise – one of the UK’s most prestigious business accolades. This year, we are also finalists in the ‘Best Supplier’ category at the Women in Tech Employer Awards.

upReach is seeking to hire a University Partnership Manager responsible for the execution of our university partnerships strategy and delivery of sustainable income growth from new and existing partners in the higher education sector. This is an exciting opportunity to directly contribute to the growth of the charity through growing and maintaining university partnership relationships. This role would suit individuals with 2+ years’ experience in developing & managing partnerships, who have a passion for social mobility and are used to operating in a fast-paced environment. The successful candidate will take responsibility for the university partnerships strategy, including growing and developing new strategic partners, providing strategic oversight for the management of, and reporting to, existing partners and identifying areas to further strengthen relationships with all university stakeholders. They will be a key member of a dynamic and growing national team.

Key Information
Hours: 40 hours per week, 9am – 6pm (with some flexibility)
Start date: ASAP
Reporting to: Director of Partnerships
Staff in all locations receive a £312 yearly tax-free WFH allowance.
Application deadline: 9am on 4th July 2022
Early applications are encouraged as we may interview and/or appoint before the closing date.

About upReach
Do you think that your socio-economic background should determine your career prospects? upReach’s vision is of a society in which everybody has an equal opportunity to realise their full career potential. We help young people from less-advantaged backgrounds achieve their career potential by providing an intensive programme of support that addresses socio-economic barriers to graduate employment.
Our work is important because right now a student from a disadvantaged background who gains a first-class degree from a top university is less likely to secure an elite job than a more privileged student with a 2.2.
We are an award-winning charity employer working to address this issue in partnership with employers and universities. Building on the success of the past five years, upReach’s current employer partners include Allen & Overy, Bank of America, the Civil Service Fast Stream, Deloitte, and Slaughter and May. Our university partners include Exeter, King’s College London, Liverpool, Warwick and Manchester.

This academic year, over 3,000 undergraduates (we call them upReach Associates) are being supported through our unique programme of application support, soft skills workshops, video forums (small group, online seminar-style sessions), mentoring and professional experience.

Registered Charity Number: 1158896.  To find out more about upReach and how we support our students, visit our website and read our Annual Report.

About the Role
University Partnership Manager:
This individual will be responsible for the university partnerships strategy, including growing and developing new strategic partners, providing strategic oversight for the management of, and reporting to, existing partners, as well as identifying areas to further strengthen relationships with all university stakeholders. Reporting to the Director of Partnerships, they will grow income from new and existing university partners in
line with our strategic partnership plans, collaborate with the partners on broader Associate recruitment and present annual reviews to the partners. They will work in collaboration with the Rise Programme Manager and the Head of Data & Impact to meet the needs / goals of the university partners, upReach Associates and the organisation. They will work alongside the Head of Finance & Operations to form plans and strategies for upReach’s sustainable income growth.

Core delivery responsibilities include:
Growing the number and value of university partnerships
● Contribute to strategic decisions concerning the upReach offering to universities to meet the needs of universities and meet upReach’s 2025 strategy objectives.
● Identifying, initiating and securing new high-value long term partnerships with universities to grow income and provide more opportunities to students.
● Researching and Identifying gaps in the market and developing ideas for new university partners, cohort focused programmes and types of partnership.
● Preparing and delivering compelling and evidence-based pitches and presentations.
● Lead on the non-partner university engagement strategy to develop new relationships, as well as broaden the upReach Associate base studying at non-partner universities.
● Maintaining the organisation’s presence in the social mobility sector through preparing and delivering Sector Webinars, thought leadership articles/blogs and networking at relevant events. Managing and developing existing university partnerships
● Developing existing university partnerships and identifying new opportunities to expand our partnership offering.
● Oversee the management of upReach’s portfolio of existing university partners, including stewarding relationships and collaborating closely with the Rise Programme Manager and Head of Data & Impact to ensure the partnerships remain strong and mutually beneficial.
● Execute on a partner communication strategy to ensure university partners are kept up to date with upReach news and events.
● Collaborate with student attraction & Programme teams to engage the university on identifying & promoting the programme.
● Contribute to strategic decisions concerning the design and delivery of the Rise Programme to meet the needs of university students and complement & enhance the university offerings.
● Support on the delivery of mid-year/end of year partner reviews for each university partner and provide input into the effectiveness of the programmes.

Team Management
● Manage two FCLP rotations (20% of Programme Coordinator’s time) – setting rotation objectives and providing project guidance.
● Meet monthly with University Leads (the Programme Coordinator responsible for day-to-day university activities) to set partnership priorities and monitor stakeholder KPI progress (onboarding, engagement) and deliver updates to universities.

Person Specification
This position would be suited to individuals who are committed to upReach’s mission. We are looking for individuals who are passionate about social-mobility and believe that background should not be a barrier to graduate employment. To be successful it is anticipated that you would have at least 2 years’ experience developing partnerships and providing impact measurement guidance. You should be proactive, resilient and
used to managing competing priorities within a varied workload. You should be flexible and willing to perform varying duties depending on the shifting needs of the charity.

Essential Skills/Experience:
1. Experience working in a fast-paced environment and working independently to find solutions to problems.
2. Ability to engage and flex communication style confidently with a variety of stakeholders, such as beneficiaries, upReach partners and all levels of employees across the organisation.
3. Excellent influencing, facilitation and communication skills (both oral and written) and be comfortable preparing and presenting reports and proposals to senior management and external stakeholders.
4. Target driven and demonstrate experience of achieving financial objectives.
5. Strong project management and problem solving skills, in addition to superb organisational skills to manage a varied workload.
6. Self-motivation and an ability to work in a small team as well as independently, with a creative and a proactive attitude.
7. Experience working directly with key stakeholders to manage and grow a relationship and/or partnership.
8. Experience in or knowledge of the usual ways of working within universities.
9. Experience monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of a programme.
10. At least a Grade ‘B’ in Maths and English GCSE (if you have extenuating circumstances, let us know)*.
11. University degree (2:1 or higher)* in any discipline, or equivalent experience.

* The nature of the role requires a high standard of Maths and English, and the ability to quickly review a large amount of information and identify and communicate key themes clearly. Applicants may demonstrate this through the academic qualifications shown above and/or other relevant experience. As our beneficiaries are all undergraduates, a good understanding of the university experience is essential, although it is not necessary that this was acquired through personally gaining a degree.

Desirable Skills/Experience:
1. Understanding of social mobility issues in the UK, the university landscape and graduate recruitment.
2. Experience in qualifying, scoping, and pricing client / partner projects in the charity sector.
3. Experience delivering all aspects of a project end to end, from design to reporting and evaluation.
4. Line management or team leadership experience.

Values & Competencies
upReach upholds the following values:
● Perseverance
● Integrity
● Advocacy
● Aspiration
● Proactivity

We are looking for candidates to display the following competencies during the application stages:
● Problem solving and decision making
● Planning and organising
● Collaboration
● Passion and motivation
● Communication skills

Application Process
Please email your CV and a covering letter (in PDF format) to our Recruitment Team at by 9am on 4th July. In your covering letter, please explain your motivation for applying to this role, and why you are interested in working at upReach, giving further details about your interest and ambitions. Early applications are encouraged as we may interview and/or appoint before the closing date.

If you have any questions about the role or application process, please reach out to us at

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to before 9am on July 4th.