Issue date: 27 February 2002

Explore@uni a convention for year 9 pupils – 28 February at UWE

African Drumming, TV programme production, creative writing, a chemistry magic show, tower building and analysing fingerprints are just a few of a range exciting activities being lined up at a special convention of year 9 pupils at the University of the West of England on Thursday 28 February.

Over 200 year 9 pupils from schools in the South West are expected to attend a special one-day convention at UWE on 28 February. Schools taking part include Cotham Grammar and Monks Park (Bristol), Kind Edmund – Yate and The Grange – Kingswood (South Gloucestershire), Broadoak – Weston Super Mare (North Somerset), Preston –Yeovil (Somerset), Oldfield and Culverhay Schools in Bath.

Explore@uni is being organised in collaboration with Connexions West of England, UWE, Dartington College of Arts, University of Bristol, University of Bath, Bath Spa University College, University of Bournemouth, University of Exeter and the University of Plymouth. Pupils will enjoy a range of activities from hands-on interaction stands to Campus tours and the chance to find out more about what university life is like through informal discussion with current university students.

The day is aimed at encouraging those pupils who have no tradition of higher education in their family to consider university as an option for them. It is linked to the government’s Aimhigher Campaign which aims to raise the number of young people going into Higher Education.

On site at Frenchay Campus will be the Aimhigher Roadshow – a mobile unit which provides information for young people in a fun and interactive manner. The Roadshow campaign was launched in January in Bristol and at several other regional centres around the country.

Di Stone (Widening Participation Support Office Co-ordinator) who is organising the event says, “We want to reach as many young people as possible with the message that Higher Education can be for them. Experience shows us that for young people who have not considered university as an option an event like this can provide just the information and motivation they need.”

John Chandler, (first year Business Studies) is a UWE Student ambassador who attended the Aimhigher Roadshow on behalf of UWE. He is full of praise for the University’s efforts to attract more young people who do not have a tradition of entering higher education, “The Aiming Higher days which are held at UWE are a really good way of getting across to young people the benefits of Higher Education. They give school pupils the chance to get first-hand information from students about what it’s like to go to university. No-one in my family had been to University before so I do have an understanding of what it’s like for them.”

Aimhigher is part of the government’s strategy to meet its target that by 2010 50% of young people will experience higher education by the time they are 30. The campaign is part of the Government’s £190 million Excellence Challenge programme. The campaign is sponsored by the Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest.


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