The Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Network for Collaborative Outreach will receive almost £300,000 in funding over the next two years from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
The Network will work with local schools and colleges to encourage more people into higher education.
It will also work with local authorities and business organisations to develop initiatives directed at employability.
Steve Kendall, associate dean, widening participation at the university said: “We were delighted to hear our bid for funding had been successful.
“The service is vital if all young people are to have an equal chance of going to university.”
The Network will provide advice about progression into higher education and act as a single point point of contact to help teachers and advisors find out about higher education outreach activity in the area.
Mr Kendall added: “While the number of students from disadvantaged backgrounds have increased, there is still more work to be done to ensure all students who want to study hard can benefit, irrespective of their background.”
Bill Rammell, vice chancellor of the university said: “Widening access to higher education – making sure that everyone has an equal chance of going to university, whatever their personal circumstances - has always been a primary aim of the University.
“We are thrilled to be able to take the lead in developing this local network to help young people access higher education.”