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High School students get taste of university experience



Cardiff Metropolitan University recently saw 100 year nine students descend onto its Cyncoed campus to take part in a 'university experience' residential programme.

The programme, which ran over three days in partnership with Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, was designed to give the students an idea of what learning is like in a university environment.

During their time on campus, the 13-14 year olds followed courses and were even given a graduation service on their final day to complete the university experience.

There were a range of courses available to the students, including hospitality, sport, food technology, art and design as well business.

Cardiff Met also ensured that the students experienced student life outside the lecture theatre, through team building activities, barbeques, and even a student party.

This particular project focussed on Communities First areas and involved a mixture of English and Welsh medium students from schools across South East Wales taking part in the two night residential event.

The Communities First programme aims to tackle poverty in some of the country's more deprived areas.  The Welsh Government has provided £75 million to support this programme up to 2015 and hopes that this funding will allow the Communities First areas to become more prosperous in the future.

Lia Rheon, First Campus co-ordinator at Cardiff Met said: "The event not only showed the students what university life is like, but allowed them to actively take part in it. It was great to see the students enjoying themselves so much and I am always pleased when events such as these are a success"

The programme has enabled many of the participants to decide upon the path that they will take after they leave school. Holly from Tonyrefail attended the event and said: "This whole experience has been amazing. I've loved it.

"My favourite part was going into Cardiff Market and learning all about the different types of fish and other local fresh produce. I love cooking and have cooked lots of things at home, but nothing to this standard!

"I have enjoyed getting a taste of university life and will definitely be applying to study at university in the future"

Red, from Willows High School said: "This is the first time I have visited a university and I have had a great time. Making chocolate was great and it was good to be able to stay over and meet lots of new people. I would like to come to university one day."

The residential summer school was a First Campus Programme, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). The aim of the programme is to increase higher education participation from groups and communities in Wales by raising aspirations, and creating new study opportunities and learning pathways to higher education.

For more information on the First Campus Programme offered at the University, please visit: http://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/study/wideningaccess/Pages/First-Campus.aspx