Potential school and college-leavers will be given the chance to shake off any nerves about heading on to higher education when they take part in a student-friendly scheme at Kingston University.
The annual Shadow A Student programme, running from March 3 to 14, is geared up to promote University to pupils who might not otherwise consider signing up for a University degree. As part of the scheme, more than 300 students, picked from schools and colleges across the region, will buddy up with current Kingston students and get their first taste of seminars, laboratory sessions and workshops.
Jenny Richardson, who is overseeing the project as part of Kingston's widening participation strategy, said the sessions would provide many of the participants with their glimpse of Higher Education. "We want to give the students a flavour of what going to University is all about," Jenny said.
"Many of them mistakenly think Higher Education is not for them but we hope their experience at Kingston will change all that."
The scheme, run in conjunction with St Mary's College and the University of Surrey Roehampton, will offer pupils a chance to see Kingston's facilities and find out about courses and how they are taught. Subjects on offer range from English and Human Biology to Fashion and Business Management. "We have found the scheme gives students a much clearer idea about what they want to do when they leave school or college," Jenny said. "We want to help them make their decisions by seeing what an average day at University is really all about."
Kingston students will be on hand to answer questions about everyday activities while academic staff will offer advice on course content and structure. "Some bright pupils are put off by university because they don't know enough about higher education or because they're not confident in their own ability," Jenny said. "Shadow A Student is a great way of addressing that problem."