Young learners’ taste of university life

Seventy-five teenagers from low and middle income backgrounds have experienced life as an undergraduate at Cardiff University through free summer schools run by the Sutton Trust.

The young people attended a graduation ceremony at the University following a week of taster talks, workshops and social activities.

Cardiff University was the first Welsh university to deliver the programme after creating new places on the medicine summer school to give the learners a flavour of undergraduate life.

The Sutton Trust’s UK summer schools aim to improve access to top universities by giving participants the knowledge and insight to make high-quality applications, as well as boosting their aspirations.

Those taking part spoke highly of how the experience had benefited them.

Ellie said: "It’s been absolutely fantastic - I feel like I’ve learned so much about university life and the way uni students learn. I’ve met so many amazing people and I’m so excited to get to uni.”

Lena said: "The summer school has been very interactive. I have learnt so many clinical and social skills and feel so much more prepared and supported for my application to medicine.”

Scott McKenzie, Cardiff University’s Head of Widening Participation and Community Outreach, said: “This has been a great opportunity for the Year 12 learners - many of whom will be the first in their families to go to university - to get a real insight into life at a top university.

“Cardiff University’s civic mission is to support schools, colleges and other educational partners to help boost educational attainment and our collaboration with the Sutton Trust is very much part of that work.”

The Sutton Trust now works with 13 partner universities across the UK to deliver the summer schools.

In 2019, 2,300 state school students from across the country have been taking part in subject-specific courses.

James Turner, CEO of the Sutton Trust, said: “Our summer schools give thousands of young people from across the UK the opportunity to change their life and make the choices that are right for them.

“We are thrilled to be in partnership with Cardiff for the first time this year. The university offers a great range of high quality courses which we want our students to experience first-hand.”

The Sutton Trust’s UK Summer Schools are open to all Year 12 students who attend, and have always attended, a state school or college in the UK.

There are then additional criteria, the more of which students meet, the more likely they are to secure a place.

Additional criteria include being the first in their family to attend university, having been eligible for free school meals and achieving 5 A*-A grades at GCSE.


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