The University of Nottingham is opening its doors to a group of younger students than usual as part of a new scheme to increase aspiration in year nine pupils.
The day visits to the University are part of a larger initiative involving Russell Group universities , to encourage students taking part to strive for a place at a top institution.
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Rewarding pupils’ achievement with a day at University Park
11 July 2012
Over the course of Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 July, 73 year nine pupils will take part in this unique opportunity as part of the Department of Education’s Dux scheme , which means ‘leader’ in Latin.
When they arrive at Nottingham, the high-achieving 14 and 15-year-olds will meet with student ambassadors, take part in a University Challenge-style quiz, and be given a tour of the award-winning University Park Campus.
Stephen Dudderidge, Director of Student Operations and Support, explained that the University is delighted to welcome high achieving pupils to its campuses under the scheme and hopes the visit will inspire them to continue to work hard and realise their potential.
He said: “At Nottingham, we see enormous benefit in providing young people with the opportunity to spend time in a university environment. Speaking to students, engaging with academic staff and visiting residential accommodation plays a significant part in demystifying university life and helps pupils to aspire to a university education as something that is open to them.
“The University of Nottingham’s Widening Participation programme provides Summer School places to students from backgrounds currently under-represented in higher education and through the work of its Nottingham Potential programme seeks to raise attainment through e-mentoring, subject-specific masterclasses and community-based support in local education centres.”
Nottingham Potential is a key project within the University’s new appeal, Impact: The Nottingham Campaign , which is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.
Crucial age for university decision
Year nine pupils were selected to take part because they won’t have made a firm decision about whether or not to go to university. And the scheme is hoping to persuade the teenagers that a place at a Russell Group university is a worthwhile investment.
Nathalie Mortimer, Head of UK Student Recruitment at The University of Nottingham, believes the scheme is a great way of raising aspiration at a crucial time.
She said: “The Dux scheme has been designed to raise aspirations and awareness of higher education and in particular the opportunities available in the Russell Group, and therefore one which the University wished to show its support for. The scheme hopes to assure these young people that university is achievable and the Russell Group worth aspiring to.
“The sessions will be interactive, engaging and most importantly fun! We are also providing separate sessions for the accompanying teachers and staff.”
Rather than bringing their parents along, pupils will be accompanied by a teacher. That’s because the scheme believes it is important to educate teachers further so that they are better placed to help pupils through the process.
Mrs Mortimer said: “There is a full schedule for the pupils’ teachers designed to enable them to support pupils who are considering applying for university. This includes advice on everything from the application process through to a session on student finance.”
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