School pupils experience university life for a day

News Page 25th April 2018

Secondary school pupils are being put through their paces by postgraduates in an initiative set up by the University of Northampton.

The UNI Club, organised by the University’s Changemaker Hub with lessons conducted by postgraduates, prepares keen young learners for the world of Higher Education.

Now in its second year; the UNI Club is an extra-curricular programme for young people between the ages of 12-14, who have been identified as the most able learners by their schools.

The programme partners with schools and academies from Northamptonshire; including Northampton Academy, Abbeyfield, Kingsthorpe College, Wrenn Academy and Kettering Buccleuch Academy.

The first day of the programme was a University experience day involving a campus tour, careers workshop and the first lesson of a six-week module. Over the remaining five weeks the postgraduates will visit each school to run workshops and lessons for the pupils.

As part of the lessons, the postgraduates will discuss the chosen subject for their PhD or MA thesis. The diverse range of subjects covered include migration and settlement in Britain, cultural identity and how social media has impacted modern language.

Natasha Mycawka, Schools Engagement Lead at University, said: “We are always trying to find new ways to inspire young learners. The University has so many great postgraduates that are working on some amazing subjects and this is all about sharing that learning.

“You can see that it helps the young people to see that learning goes on after school and there’s a point to why people go on to study at university. They loved seeing the campus – it makes it real for them. This programme is all about interactive and fun learning for the pupils – you can hold a formal assembly and tell them what university life is like – but until they actually see it in action, it doesn’t fully resonate.”

As the University prepares to open its Waterside Campus in September, the programme provided an opportunity to attract future talent and share new forms of interactive learning.

Natasha added: “A lot of these young people could be our students in the future – it’s important they see us as a welcoming and appealing institution. We also provide insight of how university learning is different to school learning. We have been able to promote the teaching methods which will be in place at Waterside, and link it to how they might do things at school.”

For more information on the Changemaker Hub, please visit here or alternatively you can contact

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