A first taste of university life Local primary school children gained
valuable experience of higher education and university life, thanks to a visit to the Lancaster campus in June.
Pupils from Chaucer Primary School and Flakefleet School, both from Fleetwood, took part in a number of activities designed to raise their aspirations and make them more aware of what higher education could offer them. They were able to meet with student ambassadors from the university, who talked about their higher education experiences and also answered the children’s questions. The schoolchildren even took part in their own special graduation ceremony and received certificates, wearing mortarboards that they had made themselves earlier in the day.
The event, arranged in conjunction with Aimhigher Lancashire, was part of the university’s support of Universities Week (14-20 June), where 100 universities and other organisations supported a national pilot campaign to highlight the essential role of universities in the UK and their impact on the economy, culture, society and the environment. The campaign brought together the country’s higher education achievements under one single banner, to highlight what else universities have to offer on a local and national level.
Dan Barcroft, Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer at the university, was one of the organisers of the Lancaster campus event. He said: “This has been a really great day and I’m pleased that the children have enjoyed it so much. The purpose of these days is to give the children an early experience of university life so they will be more confident about applying for higher education in future. Hopefully many of the children here today will now see university as being something they can aspire to when they are old enough.”
Running up that hill...
A teenage athlete from Dalston near Carlisle has set his sights on winning a medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Student Tom Marper, 18, is already setting impressive times at 800 metres.
“My personal best is currently one minute 48 seconds and only about a quarter of a second separates me and the other top six runners of my age in the country,” he said. It also puts him just three-and-a-half seconds behind the personal best of current UK 800-metre champion Michael Rimmer.
Currently studying sport at the Newton Rigg campus, Tom has now been offered scholarships at two universities in America.
His lecturer, Graham Murphy, said: “He’s a terrific ambassador for the university and has the talent—and speed—to go all the way.”
At five foot six inches tall and just over eight stone Tom is working hard—both in the gym and on the track—to hone the physique he needs to boost his speed. “I’m doing gym sessions, heavy weights and low repetitions, to build my power and lots of speed work on the track,” he explained. “I’m competing in the British Milers Club 800 metres at Watford in two weeks time so we will see how that goes,” he said.
His longer term ambitions include representing his country at the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, in 2014, the World Championships, South Korea, in 2015 and ultimately the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“The qualifying time for the Olympics is one minute 45 seconds. I’m at one minute 48 seconds but now it’s getting really hard to get my time down further,” he admitted.
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