3 July 2013 17:53

More than two hundred sixth form students have been guaranteed a conditional offer of a place at Lancaster University after completing the Target Uni Mentoring Programme.

The year 12 school and college pupils from 19 schools across the North West are all academically gifted but may need encouragement to apply to top universities despite their ability.

This is either because they are the first in their family to study for a degree or have other issues such as a disability, being from a low income family or are cared for by someone other than their parents.

They are all predicted a minimum of ABB at A-level or DDM at BTEC, giving them access to courses at top universities such as Lancaster.

School students Katie O’Donoghue and Benji Crossley from Heysham High School had not previously considered university before taking part in the programme.

Katie said: “I was thinking more about an apprenticeship or work because I didn’t think university was for me and it wasn’t something I thought about. But now I know more about it, I’m going to look around campus and really think about it.”

Benji  said: “Target Uni has opened my eyes about what you can do financially because I didn’t think university was viable before. But now I’ve had it explained to me, I’ve definitely got more options than I thought.” 

Kenneth Popay is a pupil at Morecambe High School who is now considering Lancaster University for a degree in computer science.

“I feel I’ve got a better grounding from coming here because I’ve now got a lot more information, especially about finance and what’s involved.” 

Carol Hope, Heysham High School careers advisor said: “It gives them a different perspective from school especially visiting the campus. It makes them aware that there’s a big wide world outside school and they can see what’s on offer.”

Run by Lancaster University’s UK Student Recruitment and Outreach team, the Target Uni Mentoring Programme matches the sixth form students with a Lancaster University student mentor who provides all the information they require to give them a head start in applying to top Universities.

This includes everything from finance to course selection and the UCAS process. The sixth form students have also worked online with academic tutors and PhD students at the cutting edge of their research, to give them a real flavour for studying at undergraduate level.

Kate Haywood, the Target Uni Programme Co-ordinator said: “It is fantastic to be able to give the brightest students who may need a little extra encouragement a real step up in applying to top universities. Our 42 student mentors have been amazing ambassadors for university and this celebration day has been a very successful end to this year’s programme.”