UWE holds taster days for health carers of the future

Issue date: 11 March 2009

University of the West of England The University of the West of England is organising its first taster day for young people thinking of a career in health care at the Great Western Hospital, Swindon on 16 March.

UWE's School of Health and Social Care is inviting students on access courses at Swindon New College to find out the opportunities for higher education on offer in their area.

The taster day is part of the national Aimhigher Health Care project aimed at widening access to healthcare professions such as nursing, physiotherapy, radiology and digital imaging.

Students will receive a guided tour of the hospital, interactive workshops on clinical and nursing skills, and information on how they can finance their training. The day will be facilitated by student ambassadors, who are currently studying for a healthcare profession themselves. They help to inform the students about what student life is like and what to expect from the course and how to prepare for starting a programme of study.

The Aimhigher West Healthcare Strand Coordinator, Dr Gail Duguid said, “The opportunity to enter Higher Education for the healthcare professions should be open to anyone who has the potential, regardless of their background. The Department of Health and the Aimhigher Healthcare strand supports the goal that healthcare professions should reflect the wider population.

“This day is specifically aimed at students on access courses at Swindon New College which enable potential recruits to gain the skills and qualifications they need to enter HE courses relevant to healthcare. We are hoping that 20 students and their tutors will attend the day.”

Other possible professions students could train for include midwifery, occupational therapy, social work and healthcare scientists.

Keith Hicks, Head of Marketing and Communications said, “UWE has seen a 33% increase in interest in Adult Nursing this year. One impact of the recession is that we are seeing a surge in interest from people -particularly mature students - looking to retrain and gain skills in the health and caring professions.”

Professor Rob Cuthbert, Chair of Aimhigher South West, said, “In a recession we must help to raise people's aspirations for the future. Through the Aimhigher partnership the university, the college and health professionals are working together to show students that higher education is a relevant and realistic option for them.”

Editor's notes
•The Aimhigher programme brings together partners from all stages of the education sector to work with regional bodies, the Connexions services, the community and voluntary sector and a range of other organisations. For more information on Aimhigher visit: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/UniversityAndHigherEducation/DG_073697

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