05/03/2013 by mcma
A group of Year 9 pupils got a taste of higher education today as Manchester University opened its doors as part of its Widening Participation Programme, with a Year 9 Build Your Future Day.
Along with Harrop Fold School and Kearsley Academy, the MCMA students were immediately set a challenge by the university’s Amy Barnett: to think about where they will be in ten years’ time. Some interesting answers emerged from the discussion which focused in on the critical issue of why we need to work. Not surprisingly money was seen as crucial, but interestingly MCMA pupils, including Shuweib Abdulrehman highlighted the need to have a job which motivated them.
The session then concentrated on the importance of “transferable” skills such as team work, communication and problem solving which are developed while studying at university and are highly prized by employers. The point was made that people who gain a degree earn on average £150,000 more over their working life.
The students were then reassured that anyone with the ability can go to university and that the cost of tuition fees should not be seen as a barrier to higher education progression.
To challenge stereotypical views footballer Matt Smith and musician Tinchy Stryder were flagged up as unlikely university graduates of International Management and Animation respectively.
The pupils were then allowed to opt for workshops in areas they were interested; Science, Medicine or Humanities. The workshops, which investigated Cells, looked at Radiation and discussed philosophical questions, were undoubtedly the icing on the cake for many.
The MCMA pupils’ verdict on the day was very positive. Reko Smith said the day was “exciting and interesting”. While Kudzai Elias added that it was “really good”.