06 August 2015
Residential programme aims to inspire and motivate young people
Teenagers from across the country have been given a taste of student life at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
More than 150 Year 12 pupils from 80 schools throughout the UK took part in UCLan’s Get Ahead project; a four-day residential programme covering the full spectrum of student life including academic taster sessions, personal statement writing, application advice lessons and social activities.
The programme ran for three weeks over the summer with different students taking part each week. Sessions included lessons in subjects such as forensic science, modern languages and psychology, leadership training at UCLan Sports Arena and cultural events including Bollywood dancing, Tai Chi and Henna painting.
Shannon Barnett, a 17-year-old pupil from Our Lady’s Catholic College in Lancaster, commented: “I’ve just had a forensics lesson which was really interesting. It’s given me an idea of what the subject is like to study at higher education level which will of course be helpful when it comes to taking the next step.”
Another participant, 17-year-old Alexandra Elsey, travelled from Birmingham to visit UCLan. She said: “I wanted to get a good feel of what coming to University will be like. You hear many stories from other people of what to expect but this way I’ve been able to see for myself and I’ve really enjoyed it; the whole campus has a great atmosphere.”
“You hear many stories from other people of what to expect but this way I’ve been able to see for myself and I’ve really enjoyed it; the whole campus has a great atmosphere.”
Not only does the project benefit the young people taking part, it also helps the many UCLan Student Ambassadors who help to run it by allowing them to build valuable and transferable skills.
Tony Heaney, a 21-year-old student studying on the BA(Hons) Children, Schools and Families degree, worked on all of the programmes. He said: “It’s given me a chance to build new relationships with people, improved my organisation and communication skills and generally made me feel much more confident in my abilities. We’re essentially role models to the participants and that’s something we all take very seriously.”
The Get Ahead programme is one of several initiatives run by UCLan designed to broaden the horizons of students and raise their aspirations so that they may consider applying to university in the future. This includes the Junior University scheme, which is aimed at Year 10 pupils to provide an early taste of academic life.
In addition, the University also ran its Future Researchers programme alongside Get Ahead. It allows Year 12 students to play an active role in current UCLan research programmes and work alongside academics and undergraduates to learn about the exciting world of research.