This research outlines an innovative approach to tackle diverse cohorts entering higher education without the necessary skills and experience to enable them to engage with the process. The initiative uses a live project as a vehicle to teach students the essential key skills to succeed in higher education while building their confidence and aspirations. This project focused on Chinese direct entrant students but is transferable to other student groups. The research aims to establish if live projects are an effective tool to enable students to develop the essential skills needed to learn in higher education. The objective of the research was to determine the impact on student engagement integration and performance.