At the end of last academic year, SWA students participated in the Aim Higher Plus UniFest residential summer school organised by Aston university. UniFest gave West Midlands students the opportunity to explore the world of higher education and make informed decisions about their future. Here, Georgia H, Ellie K and Koby H (now Y11) share their experiences of UniFest.
Imagine you are allowed to explore and walk around the campus, see its library and laboratories. Imagine participating in lectures and social activities like a real student. Imagine the fun, challenges and laughter you could have. Well, SWA students experienced it all!
‘Last summer I was offered an opportunity to attend a residential summer school offered by Aim Higher Plus and Aston University. This was a chance for me to take a closer look into the life at the university,’ shared Ellie.
Aim Higher summer schools have operated for many years, and local and national evaluations show that attending helps young people become motivated and confident about their learning and progression.
So, what was the participants’ day like?
‘Every day was packed full of activities and laughter,’ observed the students.
‘The university put time and effort to set up this amazing scheme and activities: from discos, BBQs and Drayton Manor management workshops, from Boston Tea Party to challenging quizzes and motivational talks. We even had a chance to go to Free Radio and record podcasts and adverts we created on the first day!’ noted Ellie.
‘I am pleased that the school truly believes that I can get into a university,’ commented Koby. ‘My personal opinion is that trips like UniFest should be incorporated more into our curriculum to allow students to grow and develop their study skills and experiences further’.
Georgia, who loved the experience of university life, added that she took part in many unusual activities like working on the re-branding of fitness wear. She conducted a survey and concluded that nine out of ten students thoroughly enjoyed the trip and their involvement into activities organised by the university.
UniFest highlighted that for many of our students, higher education is just as accessible as employment or training options.