10 June 2016 14:38

Lancaster University has entered a strategic partnership with Barrow Sixth Form College under a formal academic link that will open up new opportunities for students.

The university will back the college’s Honours Programme for top achievers with staff visiting the college to give interactive workshops, research collaborations with PhD students and guidance for the Extended Project Qualification, which is a piece of independent research outside the regular syllabus.

There will be improved offers for university entry, support during the admissions process, access to university facilities and each student will receive a jointly branded Honours hoodie. In addition, peer to peer professional development sessions will be held for staff to benefit from the expertise at the university.

Steve Buckley, director and Honours programme lead, said he was delighted the university recognised the high-quality of academic excellence at sixth form. “For the university to support our programme shows real faith in what we are achieving academically here and being associated with a university ranked in the UK top 10 will add great value to students on our Honours programme.  Our students have a track record of achieve high grades but university entry is still very competitive and this will give them an extra edge.”

The Honours programme stretches, challenges and provides additional support for students who show a flair for a subject and want to extend their knowledge. It helps develop key skills needed for university such as independent learning, research and report writing. Subjects that are part of sixth form’s Honours programme include: Modern Languages (French and German); Mathematics; Chemistry; Physics; Biology; Law and History.

Announcing the new partnership, Professor Mandy Chetwynd, Provost for Student Experience, Colleges and the Library said:  “Here at Lancaster University, we are highly committed to widening participation and social mobility. We understand that some students face a number of barriers and obstacles when considering university and we are dedicated to ensuring that these students are given the right opportunities to progress into Higher Education.

 “As such, we are proud to be part of a new partnership with Barrow Sixth Form. This partnership will provide some of the area’s most able students with the help and guidance required to ensure they are able to reach their potential and to encourage them to aspire to a top 10 university such as Lancaster.

“We look forward to continuing to build a strong relationship with the College through this partnership.” 

The Honours Programme enables students to specialise in their favourite subject with additional mentoring from sixth form staff to extend their knowledge in preparation for university.

Honours student Niall Cameron, of Hawkshead, who is taking A levels in Maths, Further Maths, Accounting and French, said the programme helps students to develop research skills that are valued by universities and employers.

“The benefits of the Honours programme are the ability to work and research independently as well as the depth of knowledge gained,” he said. “It challenges students as it requires a lot of independent research, as well as an ability to plan effectively and manage your time.

“As an accounting student I decided to focus my research around finance and how maths is used - I hope this extra knowledge will support me in my application for higher education.”