Taster of life at Durham University on offer for North East students
(30 April 2004)
The University of Durham is offering bright North East students with no family tradition of higher education the opportunity to attend a Masterclass Programme starting in July.
The Masterclass Programme has been very successful since it started as a pilot 1-day session two years ago. It has since developed from a 4-day programme last year to a 5-day residential programme for the first time this year. Participation will be free for up to 200 lower sixth form students with priority given to students from backgrounds where neither parent went to university.
The sixth formers will be linked to an undergraduate student who will act as their mentor throughout their final year at school. The participants will attend the residential masterclasses in July as well as two revision sessions to help them prepare for their A-levels. The study support programme also includes advice on applying to university, student finance, student life, and intensive study in one of the A-level subjects on offer.
The programme covers 11 subject strands – Biology, Economics, English Literature, French, Geography, Law, Mathematics, Medicine, Physics, Politics and Religious Studies.
John Hogg, Chair of the Tees Valley Aim Higher Steering Group and Principal of Middlesbrough College commented: “Aim Higher is all about raising aspirations and the University of Durham Summer School offers students the opportunity to discover that aspiration can be realised through learning. We have found the Masterclass Programme of huge benefit to students as it not only gives them confidence in their own abilities but also provides them with valuable subject-specific support.”
Gemma Probert from Conyers School in Yarm attended the masterclasses two years ago and is now a first year Medicine student at Durham. She said: “Taking part in the masterclasses made the transition from A-level to university easier. Before I came, I had heard all the horror stories about the long hours and the amount of work which medical students have. Being able to meet the students, ask them questions and listen to their personal experiences enabled me to put some of that fear to rest. Yes, it was going to be hard but it wasn’t going to be impossible .here was the living proof that you could survive! The masterclasses also give you the opportunity to meet some of the staff who will be teaching you – what came across to me was how friendly and approachable they were. It was amazing how many of them remembered my face when I started my degree.”
The Masterclass Programme is being sponsored by the Sutton Trust, Ogden Trust, One NorthEast, Aim Higher, and Tees Valley Partnership.
The deadline for registration is 7 May. Once applications are completed, they can be sent directly to Lorraine Jolley at the University of Durham by the applicant or can be returned via the school coordinator.
For more information, schools and students should contact Lorraine Jolley, Masterclass Coordinator, University of Durham, University Office, Old Elvet, Durham DH1 3HP. Tel 0191 334 6059 or Email email@example.com
Notes to Editors
This summer, the University’s widening participation team will be running a range of summer schools in addition to the masterclasses. They include:-
Year 11 Summer School from 18-23 July 2004
This week-long residential summer school takes around 130 state school students from year 11 and is designed to give them a taste of university life. It includes a range of general academic and social activities.
National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth from 8-21 August 2004
This summer school is aimed at students between the ages of 11 and 16 who are members of the Academy. It provides 150 students with the opportunity to engage in academic activities to stretch both their abilities and imaginations.
Year 12 Summer School from 22-27 August 2004
This summer school is designed to encourage able students to achieve their full potential in year 13 and to raise their aspirations to apply to the most competitive universities. The residential week is attended by students from the North East, Bradford and Stoke.
For further information please contact:
Dionne Hamil, Public Relations Officer, University of Durham Tel 0191 334 6078
Liz Hern, Director of Masterclass Programme, University of Durham Tel 0191 334 6063