U@Uni Summer School Program
The program targets Year 10 students who need extra motivation or skills in order to aspire to, and gain entry into higher education
The University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) U@Uni Summer School Program is a three-year program for students from UTS U@Uni partner schools in the southwest of Sydney. The program targets Year 10 students who need extra motivation or skills in order to aspire to, and gain entry into higher education, or who might be the first in their family to attend university.
UTS staff and academics aim to boost students’ enthusiasm for Higher School Certificate (HSC) study, demystify university, build interpersonal skills and raise personal aspirations by providing them with a range of opportunities including:
- a two-week summer school in areas such as design, engineering, business, health, film and science
- multiple connections with UTS through school visits and follow-up workshops over the three-year period to develop skills that will assist them through Year 11 and 12 including critical thinking, study skills and stress management, and
- information to assist them make informed decisions about post-high school options including access schemes and other support available for them to attend UTS.
Creating links with teachers and parents is integral to the program and is achieved through the U@Uni Summer School Graduation Ceremony, in which students receive awards in academic robes and share their achievements with parents and teachers; and the development of teaching resources based on content from the program to support the study of science, health and engineering back in schools.
To encourage motivation for university study, well before the point of enrolment, through an integrated suite of programs developed in partnership with targeted schools, TAFEs and communities.
The U@Uni Summer School program is funded by UTS, HEPPP and the Bridges to Higher Education Initiative. Funding is used to provide student resources, staffing and support to students as they make their way through the three-year program.
The U@Uni Summer School program is evidence-based and captures both qualitative and quantitative data for program evaluation. An external evaluation was undertaken in 2013 and the program is included in the Bridges to Higher Education Evaluation Program.
53% of program participants who completed high school in 2012, were offered a university place in 2013 (compared to 48 per cent for the general Australian student population)
91% said it encouraged them to want to go to university because they became familiar with the campus, interacted with university mentors and gained vital practical information about university entrance
80% Almost 80 per cent said they had been motivated to consider careers that need a university degree.
The U@Uni Summer School program will continue to support students from Year 10 into university, build stronger connections with parents, teachers and communities, and develop the existing engagement with program alumni to mentor participants in the program.
This case study is one of a series of 39 presented in our case study publication, Access and Participation in Higher Education: Outreach – Access – Support.