Secondary school pupils in the North East got a taste of university life and gained an insight into the careers of health professionals at Robert Gordon University (RGU) this term.
The university’s widening participation programme, ‘Access To’, aims to enable pupils who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education, whatever their circumstances.
‘Access To’ offers pupils a unique opportunity to work with specialist staff to understand more about their chosen course, as well as develop key skills required to be successful at university.
The university runs programmes in Nursing & Midwifery, Life Sciences, Health Professions, Computing, Engineering, Art & Architecture, Business & Management, Communication & Media, Law and Law & Management.
This year saw the launch of the ‘Access to Nursing & Midwifery’ course, which attracted 24 young people from Hazlehead Academy, Torry Academy, St Machar Academy, Northfield Academy, Kincorth Academy, Peterhead Academy, Fraserburgh Academy and Mintlaw Academy.
The bespoke programme was aimed at pupils who were interested in study opportunities and careers in the health care sector and would like to learn more.
Attending evening sessions at RGU over the course of seven weeks, pupils worked with lecturers from the School of Nursing & Midwifery to learn about topics including mental health, adult nursing, children’s and young people’s nursing and midwifery.
Megan Thom, fifth year pupil at Hazlehead Academy, said: “The whole experience has been incredible and I have loved every minute of it.
“Each week, we have worked on something different and I have learned that nursing provides a lot of opportunities. The lecturers have been very informative and helpful, both during teaching and the hands-on activities.
“It was good to meet with girls and boys from across the North East, who all shared the same interest in nursing and wanted to learn more about it at this stage of our lives.
“I always found nursing interesting, but this course has really made me certain that my goal is to study at RGU and pursue a career in adult nursing.”
During their final session this week, participants presented what they had achieved to their parents and guests in RGU’s Sir Ian Wood Building, along with pupils from the Health Professions and Life Sciences courses.
Stephen Worrall, fifth year pupil at Northfield Academy, said: “I liked being able to show my family what the course was really like, because I enjoyed the engaging environment, which was a lot different from school.
“The activity I liked the most was when we had to each tell a story while constantly having voices talking in our ear. It’s been good to learn more about what different parts of society have to go through.
“I wanted to get some inside experience of what it’s actually like to be a nurse, before I committed to anything, but I know now that I want to go into children’s nursing.”
Senior Lecturer Josey Mackenzie, involved in the delivery of the Access to Nursing & Midwifery course, said: “The pupils have engaged fully and enthusiastically throughout the programme and we were very impressed with their dedication.
“We are delighted to have been able to offer this bespoke taster in the various aspects of Nursing & Midwifery. Not only will this experience help the participants think about their futures, but we hope that they can go on to act as ambassadors for the programme in their own schools.”
Kaisa MacDonald, Project Officer in the Department for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching and Access (DELTA) at RGU, added: “The university is committed to playing a strong and active role within the community and we are always proud to support such talented, hard-working pupils.
“Programmes like ‘Access To’ can make a big difference to young people by showing them what options are available to them after school and giving them a genuine insight into university life.”
Release by Jonathon
Communications Officer | Health and Sport
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