Teenagers from across England received a taste of university life at a residential event run by the University of York’s Widening Participation team.
The York Experience Summer School aimed to inspire students from under-represented groups to consider applying to Higher Education by giving them first-hand experience of the academic and social life available at York.
It’s given me a good feel of the place and it's made me understand the reasons why university life is for me
Summer School student
The 70 Year 12 pupils attending are involved with Realising Opportunities, the Schools and Colleges Network and colleges from Hackney, London.
Amy Clow, Widening Participation Officer at the University of York, said: “The event was aimed at those who have the potential, but possibly not the confidence, to apply to a research intensive university. The summer school sought to raise aspirations by giving the young people a real taste of university life.”
Students worked with academic staff and current undergraduates on a programme of academic taster sessions, with workshops in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Theatre, Film and Television, Sociology and Psychology.
They also developed their presentation and independent learning skills to help them with their Year 13 studies and prepare them for Higher Education.
At the same time, they had chance to experience some of York’s societies such as Zumba, Samba Drumming and Student Newspaper, and took part in Boomwhackers - an energetic and lively musical workshop with tuned acoustic tubes that create different harmonic tones.
Amy Clow said: “The summer school also showed off the city of York, with students spending an afternoon seeing the sights, as well as having a dinner and dance at the Merchant Taylors' Hall. At the end of the summer school groups of students presented what they had learnt over the four days. All the students agreed they had gained many new skills and friends and enjoyed the York experience.”
Feedback from students included:
“It’s given me a good feel of the place and it's made me understand the reasons why university life is for me.”
“Very enjoyable and a great way to make friends. It provided me with a chance to meet and work with people that normally I wouldn't work with.”
“I absolutely loved the first lecture delivered by James Moir, a microbiologist. I asked him many questions, some during the lecture and the majority after the lecture. He was always willing to teach and help me understand. I also liked the fact that during the practical, we had the freedom to test our own hypothesis. The facilities were also fabulous.”
“York was already one of my choices before applying and the experience has shown what life would be like if York was my firm choice.”