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Inaugural United Learning Fellows attend Matriculation Residential

Inaugural United Learning Fellows attend Matriculation Residential

To launch the United Learning Fellowship, 21 students attend a residential at Villiers Park, Cambridgeshire

The United Learning University Fellowship is a unique one-year programme for students in Year 12, which seeks to not only maximise Fellows’ chances of gaining access to a leading university, but also develop their leadership skills and engage them as agents of social change in promoting equal higher education access in their local communities, through equipping them to deliver a leadership development project in the first term of year 13. The inaugural group comprises 21 Fellows from across four schools – Shoreham Academy, Midhurst Rother College, Bournemouth Collegiate School and Canford School. During the Easter holidays, the Matriculation Residential for this cohort of students participating in the Fellowship took place at Villiers Park residential centre in Cambridgeshire.

The residential kicked off with a session encouraging students to reflect upon their ideas of leadership, the higher education access gap, and the benefits of attending a top university, which produced some excellent discussion and interesting debate. This was followed by a session from a University of Manchester graduate and current Cambridge PhD student, who reflected on his experience of having attending two top class academic institutions, offering Fellows some useful tips on how to approach the university application process. The Fellows were also treated to an inspiring session from Graham Snudden, founder of a multi-million pound biotechnology start-up, who offered some thought-provoking reflections on using leadership skills to build up a successful enterprise.

The Fellows also got the chance to put into practice what they learned, through participating in a strategy consultant-style role-play, where they had to quickly and effectively offer practical ideas to other Fellows on how they might go about promoting equal higher education access in their various local contexts. The ensuing presentations were at once fascinating and inspiring, with many powerful but practical ideas put forward.

The reflections offered by the Fellows showed that they had really engaged with the concepts of leadership and the higher education gap, with many commenting that their initial ideas on these had been radically challenged. Once they have completed their AS exams, this group of highly impressive individuals will embark upon the design and delivery of their leadership projects. We are excited to see what will no doubt be some amazing initiatives in action – watch this space!

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Posted: Apr 22, 2015,
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