Year 8s Take First Look at University Life

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29/11/2012 by mcma

A group of Year 8 pupils from MCMA got to sample higher education today at Manchester University.  The boys and girls took part in the elite Russell Group University’s Gateways Programme, which promotes Widening Participation.

The party arrived at the University at 9.30am, after a short briefing they were immediately given a task: to work out how many course are available in UK universities.  After considerable head scratching by the group the answer came, a staggering 45,000!  It turns out many courses are offered from Architecture to Zoology.

The pupils were them split into groups with students from Matthew Moss High School and the New Charter Academy and made Course Investigators.  Their mission was to interview students on campus and find out what courses they were studying.  After interviewing university students some interesting answers came back including: Aerospace Engineering, Medicine, Psychology, Design, Spanish, Italian and Law. 

They also asked the students how many hours lectures they attended each week, there turned out to be a large range from around 15 hours, right up to 40 hours.  The subjects with fewer lectures tended to involve more independent study.

The Year 8 Investigators also discovered that by attending university students gain valuable transferable skills like problem solving, time management and communication skills.  Another interesting fact discovered was that on average people with degrees earn a staggering £150,000 more than those who don’t over their working life.  A series of Workshops in Medical Sciences, Science and Humanities filled the rest of the day.

The day ended with a question and answer session with current Manchester University students.  Pupils from all three schools enthusiastically asked questions about student life, housing, campus mosques and churches, university discipline and the opportunities to join clubs and societies.

What did the pupils think of the day?  Sumaira Chaudhry (8R2) said the day was “fun”, adding that she’d really enjoyed the medical sciences taster session.  Charley Cox (8W3) also enjoyed the workshop saying the highlight of her day had been “finding out about the diseases of the heart and what causes them”.  Rylan Aspinall (8B2) summed up the visit in one word: great.   While Ali Ashgar Jafari (8B1) described it as really good.

Steve Leach


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