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What is UniFest?

UniFest is a programme of residential summer schools offered by 6 universities in the West Midlands:

  • Aston University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Newman University
  • University College Birmingham
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Worcester

UniFest is for year 10 students who are considering higher education and need information, advice and support to reach their full potential.

How can my child get involved?

The UniFest programme opens for applications in January 2019.

Things to bear in mind:

UniFest is a targeted programme and places are offered to young people who meet certain criteria. You may need to explain to your child that they are/are not eligible based on your current circumstances.

Criteria Weighting
Disadvantaged home postcode* 1
Eligible for Free School Meals / FSM6 / Pupil Premium or the 16-19 Bursary 1
No parental experience of higher education 7
Disability and/or learning difficulty 7
Children in Care 7
Young carers 1

*Aimhigher can help you identify postcodes and occupations that meet our criteria. Contact aimhigher@contacts.bham.ac.uk for more information

How does attending help students?

UniFest 2017 gave over 270 disadvantaged students the opportunity to explore the world of higher education and make informed decisions about their future. By the end of their UniFest experience, 96.1% felt that they “understand what life would be like at university” and 95.4% felt that it had improved their motivation to succeed at school.

Download the UniFest 2017 Evaluation Report

How does attending benefit young people?

Aimhigher summer schools have been running for many years. Students who have taken part in Unifest become more motivated and confident in their learning, are known to have better grades at school and are more likely to go to university.

Is there a cost?

UniFest is free of charge however, if your child gets a place and then drops out at late notice, fails to attend, leaves an event early or is excluded for breaching rules, their school will receive a fine of £200. Please make sure your child definitely wants to attend before accepting their offer.

My child will be missing school..

If UniFest clashes with activities at your child’s school please speak to the teachers as their support is required on the application form. Please consider the best interests of the young person. UniFest may be more beneficial than work experience for someone who is considering higher education rather than employment or training options.

Is there any flexibility on age groups?

UniFest is designed for year 10 students only.

What should my child put in their supporting statement?

We want to hear about them and their interests, the subjects and qualifications they are studying, their career ambitions, any work experience they have completed and why they’re applying.

What about supervision and safeguarding?

Parents do not need to supervise young people on residential UniFest events. The universities take full responsibility for safeguarding, and will liaise directly with parents/carers to agree transport/hand-over arrangements etc. This includes inviting all successful applicants and their parents/carers to an on-campus information evening in advance of their event. Aimhigher universities operate comprehensive safeguarding, child protection and health and safety policies and procedures. They will undertake risk assessments for all events and activities, and make these available to you for assurance purposes. For more information please view our UniFest Safeguarding pages.

What about transport?

Universities liaise directly with young people and their parents/carers about travel arrangements, and reimburse all reasonable transport costs for the pre-event information evening and the residential itself.

What if learners drop out?

Aimhigher will do all we can to minimise drop out before events, but it is inevitable in a small number of cases. We strongly advise you to:

  • Actively support your child in the period between them being offered a place and the event taking place, and reinforce the importance of attending
  • Notify Aimhigher immediately if your child wants to withdraw or is at risk of withdrawing…direct contact between the university, the applicant and their family can often help reassure and overcome any worries or concerns

Contact us for more information

Email: aimhigher@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Telephone: 0121 415 8176