Three county universities collaborate to help young people Aspire Higher
Keeping secondary students on track to further their qualifications and achieve career excellence has continued despite the pandemic for one renamed, rebranded but still committed team.
Aspire Higher is the new name for a collaboration between the universities of Northampton, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, under the umbrella of the initiative Uni Connect.
Aspire Higher is one of 29 partnerships of universities, colleges and other local partners that offer activities, advice and information on the benefits and realities of going to university or college.
The team have been busy during lockdown to ensure students in the programme are as prepared as possible for their leap into further or higher education and are ready with their first, virtual event.
This will be a live, online ‘transition day’ on 8th July for students who are due to start university this September.
For those interested in coming to UON, the day will include a session by Deputy Vice Chancellor Shan Wareing about what university will be like post-Covid 19 and there will be student vlogs giving their take on preparing for university life, accommodation, budgeting and more.
It will also be a chance for young people to get their questions answered by current university students and by the people delivering each of the sessions.
The day will also include virtual tours of all three campuses and live broadcasts about how clearing and clearing plus will work at this time, how to budget for living at university, how it feels to be a fresher and what support each university offers undergraduates.
There will be a digital skills session and Ahmar Ehsan from Student Finance England will be giving a student loan update and a student wellbeing and motivation session will be delivered by Dr Mike Scanlan.
So far, feedback from across the shires has been uniformly praiseworthy of Aspire Higher’s work:
Northampton (from a Podiatry training session): “I love learning about the biology. I enjoy it so it was interesting to take what we learnt from our ‘A level’ lessons and applied it to Podiatry because seeing it in a profession gives you more sense of why you are learning biology in school.”
Bedfordshire: “A big thank you to you and your colleagues for today. I am sure our students have all benefitted from the visit. We really appreciate the time and effort that these visits entail and hope that we can continue to build a positive relationship with the university.’”
Hertfordshire: “No one in my close family has been to university and so I hadn’t thought much about it until getting involved in the Aspire Higher programme. The Summer School I went on had a big impact on me – I found out so much about university and all the different courses you can study. We had current university students working with us – they were helpful and talked to us about student life, why they decided to go and what studying their subjects is like.”