13 August 2014 - This story is in archive

School students from across Hertfordshire and North London have been staying at the University of Hertfordshire throughout July to get a taste of what university can offer them.

Unique opportunity

The University's Outreach team, part of the Office of the Dean of Students, hosted 170 year 10 and year 12 pupils for the annual summer school programme where they attended lectures, theatre trips and even went tobogganing.

The aim of the Summer Schools is to give young people with no family background of higher education a taste of what university can offer. Staying in the student accommodation offered a unique opportunity to see what student life really feels like.

Continuing support

Dr. Emma Greening, Head of Outreach and Widening Participation, said: "Our department is continuing to support these school pupils through talks, workshops, mentoring, campus visits and extra events such as the Summer Schools. The Summer Schools were an excellent opportunity for all four sets of pupils where they were given an insight into higher education and shown that going to university was within reach. For the Year 12 pupils specifically, help was at hand with their impending university applications."

Taste of student life

The Summer Schools took place over four weeks and saw two groups of year 10s, one group of sixth formers and a group of young people who are in foster care gain a taste of student life. The groups had a range of lectures on topics such as astrophysics, Japanese, engineering, law and pottery. The sixth formers had an intense guide to exploring university courses and compiling personal statements to help them realise their aspirations.

The young people in foster care were also given the opportunity to visit the University of Cambridge for a forensic science murder mystery day and the Central School of Speech and Drama for puppetry sessions.