The University of York welcomed 45 top-performing teenagers from secondary schools across the country to its first Dux Awards Scheme event.
Under the scheme, teachers from maintained secondary schools select a Year 9 pupil as their Dux (Latin for champion), who is rewarded with a visit to one of the 24 Russell Group universities.
The 13 and 14-year-olds visiting York, who were each accompanied by a teacher, took part in a taster lecture with Dr Daniel Baker from the Department of Psychology, toured the campus with an undergraduate student ambassador and enjoyed an open-top bus tour of the city.
York Widening Participation Officer Lorna Bowling said: “We were very pleased to host our first Dux event as part of the Russell Group and to give high-performing pupils the chance to find out first-hand what it’s like to be a student at York.
“The pupils were very enthusiastic and full of potential and we look forward to working with them and their schools in the future.”
Feedback from the day was very positive, with one teacher commenting that the day had been “motivating, encouraging and inspiring”. One of the Year 9 pupils taking part said: “The best part of today was the lecture on Psychology. The illusions amazed me and it was so interesting to find out about my brain.”
The Russell Group – which York joined last year – represents the leading UK research-intensive universities. It is committed to maintaining high-quality research, outstanding teaching and education, and excellent links with business and the public sector.
The Dux Awards Scheme can particularly help schools and pupils who would not normally get the chance to access top universities.
Last year 1,400 pupils from 750 schools attended a special event at one of the Russell Group universities. This year even more schools are expected to take part.
York will host its second Dux Awards Scheme event on 20 May.