25 April 2008

School’s on for summer

Young people with learning difficulties or in care can enjoy a taste of University life at events coming up soon.

As part of their highly successful series of summer schools, the Widening Participation team based at the University of Essex in Colchester has set up two sessions aimed at year 10 students, aged 14 and 15, with specific learning difficulties or who are being looked after, either in care or with foster families.

Widening Participation at Essex aims to promote higher education to all those who can benefit from it, especially in areas where traditionally participation in higher education has been low. All the summer schools are free.

The first event which runs for two days, Thursday 8 May and Friday, 9 May, is a non-residential course aimed at people with specific learning difficulties. The first day is spent at the Colchester Institute with taster sessions and advice on the support students can expect to receive. The second day is spent at the University’s Colchester campus exploring all aspects of student life.

Widening Participation Officer Nicola Wood said: 'We recognise that higher education may seem like a pipedream to some and the different summer schools we run seek to show that educational opportunities are there for everyone.'

A similar course for young people who are being looked after, runs on Thursday, 29 May and Friday, 30 May with the students invited to stay at the Wivenhoe House Hotel on the second night to enrich their University experience.

This will also be the third year for the highly popular Back to the Future summer school aimed, not only at Year 10 students, but also their parents or carers who are interested in finding out how to support their child in making decisions about their education.

This fun residential event on Saturday, 12 July and Sunday, 13 July, is immensely popular and anyone interested is advised to get in touch soon.

Mature students taking the Access qualification towards higher education are invited to their own summer school on Saturday, 16 August and Sunday, 17 August. Staying on campus, the jam-packed two days mix academic sessions with a hectic social scene.

First year students on the Business BTEC National Diploma can find out what higher education can offer them on their own residential course which involves both the Southend and Colchester campuses between Wednesday 23 July and Friday 25 July.


Contacts
For further details please see the website at www.essex.ac.uk/wp/schools or contact the Widening Participation Office on 01206 873424.

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