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A student on last year's summer school during a biology 'taster' session
A student on last year's summer school during a biology 'taster' session
Last year's students learn about Chemical Engineering
Last year's students learn about Chemical Engineering
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Press Release - 22 June 2006

Young people get a taste of university life

School and college students from Bath and the South West will get an opportunity to experience life as a university student during two free residential weeks of academic ‘taster’ courses and social activities at the University of Bath (2-7 July for Year 11 school students, and 9-14 July for Year 12 students from Further Education Colleges).

The University is offering these opportunities as part of its substantial Aimhigher programme, designed to widen participation in higher education. Each week will be attended by over 60 young people from across the region who will stay in student residences and use the facilities on campus. Twelve current undergraduate student ‘helpers’ will spend the week with them, and are on-hand to answer any questions about the realities of life at university.

The Year 11 participants have the opportunity to ‘taste’ a range of subjects, including Psychology, Sports Studies, Mechanical Engineering, Web Design and Business. The Year 12 students choose one of three areas to explore in more depth throughout their week: Bio Sciences, Social Sciences or Sports Studies. Each summer school will include mini-lectures, group discussions, and problem-solving tasks. Evening social activities, intended to give a flavour of the non-academic side of university life, include bowling, art and dance workshops, karaoke and the use of the University’s sports facilities.

Stephanie Gan, who organises the summer schools, said: “The summer schools give a real flavour of university life. They are aimed at young people from families with no experience of higher education. We want them to feel confident about exploring the wide range of choices and opportunities that are open to them. They get the chance to meet current students from similar backgrounds and can see that the opportunities offered by higher education are accessible to them too.”

Harriet Bryant was a student at Weston Sixth Form College when she attended last year’s summer school. She said: “The summer school helped me to learn what university life was like. It also helped me to make an informed decision about whether I should go to university or not. I have decided that I would like to go! I also gained lots of new friends from the summer school.”

Independent advisers, University staff and current students will provide information and guidance on choosing courses, applying to higher education, life as a student, the range of support services available and, crucially, managing student finances.

The summer schools are free of charge. The Year 11 week is partly funded by the European Social Fund. Both summer schools are over-subscribed for this year but to find out more information about them, and other widening participation activities at the University of Bath, contact Stephanie Gan on 01225 383554, email, or visit

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