Lancashire school students are continuing to take part in university visit days, despite campuses being in lockdown.

Future U, along with Edge Hill University and the Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network, have teamed up to allow over 130 schools across the county access the visit, which was arranged prior to the lockdown.

The visit, which was due to take place at Edge Hill University, would have allowed students to understand more about campus life, as well as the courses and careers available to them. However, because the university is closed to visitors the event was instead streamed online, with over 130 schools able to take part.

The virtual visit included introductions to life at university; including information on students, staff, courses available and what it is like to live on campus.

In addition to the this, students learnt about the different jobs available at the university by hearing from current employees. They were also set a virtual task to explore more about a career in social media.

Elenid Steffan, education liaison officer at Edge Hill University, said: “This is an innovative alternative which allows these young adults to speak to students, and staff, about their university experiences. It is valuable in raising aspirations and helps them to form their choices and understanding of higher education.”

James Clegg, delivery officer at Future U, added: “The session delivered by Future U looked at a real job and broke down the application form in easy to follow steps. It also helped to strengthen pupils’ knowledge of the social media sector, looking at the best ways to get into a social media career.”

Liz Bacon, enterprise coordinator for Chorley and West Lancs. at Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network, added: “This virtual and interactive event is great for all to experience Edge Hill, the place of study and potential future workplace. A fantastic alternative to a campus visit during lockdown.”

Future U is part of the national Uni Connect Programme, funded by the Office for Students, and continues to support school pupils across Lancashire to encourage more young people to think about higher education and future careers. The project involves institutions and organisations across the county including the University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University, Edge Hill University and the University of Cumbria.

Lancashire’s Future U works with a network of schools, in addition to colleges, higher education providers and local agencies to create tailored activities to meet the needs of students for now and the future.

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Its list of partners includes: Blackburn College, Blackpool Sixth Form College, Blackpool and the Fylde College, Burnley College, Edge Hill University, Inspira, Kendal College, Lancaster University, Myerscough College, Nelson and Colne College, Preston’s College, STEMFirst, Runshaw College, The Lancashire Colleges, University of Central Lancashire, University of Cumbria, West Lancashire College.

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