300 pupils get insight into uni life at Anglia Ruskin summer schools

Published: 16 June 2006 at 14:24

Anglia Ruskin University is welcoming around 300 pupils to its Cambridge and Chelmsford campus locations over the next few months as the university embarks on the most ambitious programme of summer schools it has ever organised.

The 11 separate summer schools, being run over a 4 month period, will see students from Years 10 to 12 find out more about the higher education opportunities available to them within the region. The pupils, who are aged between 15 and 17 year olds, will spend a number of days on campus enjoying the student experience while they complete various ‘taster’ learning sessions and research-based activities.

The first of the summer schools, for Year 10 students, has just been concluded. It was based on a research activity which focused on geography, sociology and food technology. The programme, devised by Claire Furtado (a PhD research student at the University’s Ashcroft International Business School), enabled the students use multi-media equipment to capture some aspects of their research and also present the findings of their work.

Ian Ericson is one of the team delivering the learning experience for the young people. He said:

“This year’s summer schools programme is our busiest so far. We have so many activities for pupils over the three different year bands which means there is something for everyone. We are fully booked on every summer school session ranging from geography to nursing, and from law to urban renewal.”

“While we have the pupils on campus we get them to explore the different approaches to learning and hopefully they go away thinking about what they want to do in the future. We provide them with student ‘buddies’ who look after them during their stay and answer the many questions they have while they are problem solving.”

“This type of activity can be just what the pupils need to encourage them to make the step change from school or college to university.”

“We are a friendly, supportive and accessible University that continually strives for excellence in everything we do – and this includes making the most of our recruitment activities and widening participation programmes.”

Anglia Ruskin has been running a summer schools programme since 2002.  It was implemented as a result of one of the Government’s widening participation initiatives, established in 2000. The programme is part of a regional project funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the European Social Fund (ESF). It aims to widen participation in higher education by young people in under-represented social groups from low-income backgrounds, especially those with no family history of participation in HE through raising their aspirations.