A group of 200 pupils from across the West Midlands have been selected to take part in a summer residential at the University of Birmingham.

The teenagers - who have been chosen from more than 700 Year 10 pupils - are being given the opportunity to experience life as a university student.  From 20-22 and 23-25 July, they will spend three days learning more about available courses, career options and the opportunities that university life offers outside studying.

This is the only residential in the Birmingham Solihull area and a strict selection procedure was used. Thomas Straw, University Student Recruitment and Outreach Officer, said: “We have been overwhelmed by students wanting a place. Selecting the most deserving 200 from over 700 applications was incredibly difficult. What is key for us is that all of these students are the first in their family to consider going on to higher education.”

The University of Birmingham offers students a choice of two programmes to follow. One is focused on courses and careers in the health and life sciences sector and the other provides a more general higher education experience, with a taster of subjects in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Both experiences will involve lectures, seminars and interactive workshops on topics as diverse as Medical Ethics to Mandarin Chinese.

A critical part of the programme is the work of current university of Birmingham students who provide useful advice through workshops on Student Finance, Gap Years and Student Life. The university students also take part in the all-important social activities, leading students in playing bowling, watching a talent show and enjoying a disco. 

Mr Straw said: "These experiences offer the chance for students who would not normally consider going into Higher Education a chance to experience university life first hand. Living in a hall of residence, socialising with a wide range of people and attending seminars and lectures will hopefully assist them in making the right decisions for their futures."


Media information: Anna Dingley, University of Birmingham Press Officer, 0121 4158134/07769 952763, email a.j.dingley@bham.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

Dates =  Sunday 20 July- Tuesday 22 July 2008 + Wednesday 23- Friday 25 July 2008

Location - University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT

Contact details - Thomas Straw, Recruitment and Outreach Officer, University of Birmingham, tel: 0121 414 8489, e-mail: T.Straw@bham.ac.uk

Further information

This year’s residential is the only one to take place in the Birmingham Solihull region.

125 Schools sent in 736 applications for just 200 places on the Year 10 residential.

An original Summer Residential student will be working as a student ambassador during the week as he is currently studying for his Phd in Chemistry.

Summer Residentials are a well established part of the University of Birmingham’s continuing commitment to Widening Participation in Higher Education – this is the fifth year that residentials have been run at the university.