UniFest 2021 | Aimhigher West Midlands

Applications for UniFest 2021 are now closed.

WHAT IS UNIFEST?

UniFest is an opportunity for you to learn more about higher education and to gain insight into what life is like as a university student. Although we are unable to offer residential events this year, our six partner universities have prepared an exciting range of activities to inspire and motivate you to explore your future options. You’ll have the chance to see what university is really like, speak to university students and staff, and receive advice and guidance on careers. Check out each university’s event offer to see the fun and interactive programme of activities you could take part in!

We deliver this event in partnership with Aston University, Birmingham City University, Newman University, University College Birmingham, University of Birmingham and University of Worcester. Each university is offering a standalone event and has provided information detailing whether their event will be held on-campus or virtually. Please read the details for each university event thoroughly before applying. All universities hope to offer an campus visit if and when it is safe to do so.

WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF IT?

You will learn about university courses and career options, while taking part in virtual campus tours, quizzes and talks to expand your knowledge of higher education. You’ll improve your communication and team working skills as you interact with fellow students and university staff, with the opportunity to ask any questions you might have along the way. You’ll boost your self-confidence as you take part in new and challenging activities – you may even find a new passion! See where your interests can take you and begin your journey to higher education. One final bonus – taking part will help boost your college, sixth form or university applications too!

UniFest

"It has given me a clearer idea of life at university and disproved the stereotypes."

"UniFest helped me decide I definitely want to go to uni."

"UniFest Online was brilliant I loved every second of it and now I have some more information on universities and colleges."

"I am very thankful for the opportunity we had for participating in this online; I believe this was a wonderful experience for all and was highly insightful."

WHO IS UNIFEST FOR?

UniFest is for students in Year 10 at state-funded secondary schools in the West Midlands who are from backgrounds and communities that are less likely to be considering university as an option. To apply for a place you will need the support of your school and the consent of your parents or carers, and you should be able to answer “yes” to at least one of the following:

  • My parents or carers did not go to university
  • I receive Free School Meals
  • I have a disability or learning difficulty
  • I am in the care of my local authority
  • I am a young carer
  • I live in an area where not many young people go to university

WHICH UNIFEST EVENT IS FOR ME?

This depends on whether you’d like to explore university life in general and a variety of courses, or focus on a particular subject or career which interests you.  All UniFest events include lots of interactive sessions and a packed programme of fun activities.

Please note that all on-campus events will only take place if Covid-19 restrictions allow and will be replaced with a virtual alternative if they cannot go ahead. Ensuring students and staff safety is of upmost importance and therefore we will continue to monitor the government guidance and the developing situation.

Magnifying Glass

WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?

UniFest is a targeted programme. Universities ensure places are offered to young people who meet certain criteria, using a weighted system to identify and prioritise applicants based on information about their backgrounds gathered as part of the application process.

Magnifying Glass

IS THERE A COST?

UniFest is free of charge however, if you were to get a place and then drop out at late notice, fail to attend, leave an event early or are excluded for breaching rules, your school may receive a fine. Please make sure you definitely want to attend before accepting your offer.

Magnifying Glass

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

UniFest 2019 gave 273 disadvantaged students the opportunity to explore the world of higher education and make informed decisions about their future.

94% of learners that attended UniFest 2019 were very satisfied/satisfied with the event!

Download the UniFest 2019 Evaluation

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.

Magnifying Glass

WHAT ABOUT MISSING SCHOOL?

If UniFest clashes with school activities, please speak to a teacher before applying.

Magnifying Glass

IS THERE ANY FLEXIBILITY ON AGE GROUPS?

UniFest is designed for year 10 students only.

Magnifying Glass

WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE SUPPORTING STATEMENT?

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

Magnifying Glass

WHAT ABOUT SUPERVISION & SAFEGUARDING?

If the UniFest event you are attending is on-campus, parents do not need to supervise young people at the event. The universities take full responsibility for safeguarding, and will liaise directly with parents and carers to agree transport/hand-over arrangements etc. This includes inviting all successful applicants and their parents and carers to an 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.

Magnifying Glass

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT?

If the UniFest event you are attending is on-campus, universities liaise directly with young people and their parents and carers about travel arrangements.

Magnifying Glass

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

HOW DO I APPLY?

Read about each university’s event to decide which you would like to go to and check you meet the criteria

Talk with your parents or carers and complete the application form with them

Remember to choose more than one event (as you will need a back-up choice)

CHOOSE YOUR PROGRAMME…

Magnifying Glass

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE BIRMINGHAM

SPECIALIST HAIR & MEDIA MAKE-UP FOR FILM, TV & THEATRE

10AM-3PM, SATURDAY 3RD & SATURDAY 10TH JULY

VIRTUAL & ON-CAMPUS EVENT

Do you have a passion for Make-Up, Special Effects or Aesthetics? Have you ever thought about working alongside professional make up artists or pursuing a career in TV, theatre and production? University College Birmingham’s summer school will give you a rare insight into a range of pathways that lead to a variety of creative service careers within this growing industry. You will gain first-hand experience by participating in course-related activities such as character creation and have the opportunities to showcase the work you have created. This will be led by our lecturers, industry experts and guest speakers.

On day one, you will receive a kit with everything you require to join us online and develop and learn how make-up artists create special effects. Our academic teams and industry experts will discuss with you the extensive careers available in Special Effects, Hair and Media Make up and Aesthetics. Whether you are thinking about becoming a skincare consultant, make-up artist or an aesthetics practitioner, you will get a unique flavour of how exciting university life can be. This day of the event will be hosted on Microsoft Teams. Participants will require a PC/laptop, with visual and audio aspects available in order to engage with the event.

On 10th July, you will join us on campus at University College Birmingham and really get to grips with making prosthetics that help actors get into character. You will also meet staff who have worked on magazines, prime TV dramas and major films.

Magnifying Glass

NEWMAN UNIVERSITY

WORKOUT YOUR GOALS

4.30-6PM, THURSDAY 8TH – FRIDAY 9TH JULY

VIRTUAL EVENT

Each day of our UniFest event is designed for students to experience different areas in the sporting field. You will have the chance to learn from current sport academics, train in the shoes of an athlete from your own home, and learn about where a sports degree can take you in the future. You will gain first-hand experience in the different pathways and careers in the sports industry.

Our event will be the time to test your fitness, learn about athletics from Athletes in Schools, and to enhance your knowledge about higher education with our virtual campus tour, quizzes and talks. Challenge staff and students alike with your questions about university, as you gain insight into university from past and current students. Achieve a silver or gold award through our series of virtual activities set to challenge you and get you thinking about your own potential.

You will learn about the routes into sport degrees at university and to which careers they can lead. Explore what it would take to become an expert in the field, such as a coach, teacher or athlete from current professionals.

You will gain key skills in teamwork, independence and motivation. Alongside this, you will gain insight into student life by working with current Newman University sports students to get the full experience of being at Newman.

You’ll need access to a laptop or computer with internet connection for each day of the event, and a safe space to take part in the physical challenges. You will also need access to Zoom, which is the platform we’ll be using. Headphones may come in handy if you need them. Any additional resources required for Workout Your Goals will be provided by us.

Magnifying Glass

ASTON UNIVERSITY

STEM SATURDAYS

10AM-12.30PM, SATURDAY 3RD & SATURDAY 10TH JULY
VIRTUAL EVENT

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Saturdays will consist of a series of different STEM taster sessions which students can choose between. Each session will consist of an exciting challenge for students to complete in order to be entered into competitions to win some amazing prizes. Alongside this, students will get advice from real life Aston University students in a student life talk and Q&A.

Students will understand how exciting STEM subjects can be. With interactive activities, quizzes, competitions and much more, we aim to inspire students to follow in the footsteps of the university students leading the sessions.

The Stem Saturdays will take place on Blackboard Collaborate which you will need to access via Google Chrome. This can be done using a phone, laptop or tablet. Aston University will send you a pack in the post containing any information and resources you will need to join in the sessions.

Magnifying Glass

UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

YOUR FUTURE, YOUR CHOICE

2-3.30PM, SUNDAY 27TH JUNE & SUNDAY 4TH JULY

VIRTUAL EVENT

Are you interested in going to university, but not really sure what you want to study? Then come along to the University of Birmingham’s, ‘Your Future, Your Choice’ summer school to find out what possibilities await you!

You will experience attending university workshops where our academic staff will deliver fun, engaging and eye-opening sessions from a wide range of subjects that you can study at the University of Birmingham.

University life isn’t just about studying – it’s about having lots of fun too. Whilst you’re with us, you will be looked after by our student ambassadors, who are all current students at the university. They will be on hand to guide you and most importantly, answer any questions you may have on life at university.

You will gain an insight into student life, including independent learning, and will have your questions answered about all things ‘university’ – you may even decide on a subject you’d like to study!

As more jobs require higher level qualifications, you will also learn about the transferable skills that employers will be looking for in the future. Summer schools offer a great opportunity for you to grow in confidence, gain independence and make lots of new friends!

You will need access to a device which can accommodate Zoom.

Magnifying Glass

UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER

PSYCHOLOGY, CRIMINALS & CONVICTIONS

10-11.30AM, SATURDAY 10TH & SUNDAY 11TH JULY

VIRTUAL EVENT

This exciting summer school will give you the opportunity to experience what it is like being a student at university via virtual participation in sessions on Law, Developmental Psychology, Criminology and Policing. You will get a taste of the state of the art facilities such as a mock court room so can see how Law Practitioners and students work. Students will learn from academic experts who will share with you what it is like to speak in court and what to do when presenting evidence collected at a crime scene. You will also get a perspective of the minds of criminals to explore why crimes are committed in the first place. By the end of the summer school you will have a greater understanding of what options you will need to take to pursue a career in criminal justice.

You will develop insights into Psychology, Criminology and Law. You will also experience what it is like working towards a degree. Throughout the summer school, you will work with current University of Worcester students, providing you with an ideal opportunity to discover more about the student’s eye-view of university life. We will also take time to look at the range of careers available in the justice sector.

In the policing session, you will discover what it is like to be a police officer investigating a case. You will learn about how officers gather information and evidence from crime scenes to catch criminals. During this session you will interact with professionals with decades of combined experience to provide you with great first hand accounts of what it is like to be a part of criminal investigations, you will be able to get a great insight into how you can pursue a career in law enforcement.

You will need an electronic device with an internet connection. Mobile phones can be used however Blackboard (the software we’ll be using) is more accessible on a tablet or computer. We will send out the relevant links to you in advance – all you need to do is make sure they’re saved and join at the relevant time.

Magnifying Glass

BIRMINGHAM CITY UNIVERSITY

CREATE YOUR FUTURE

9AM-3PM, WEDNESDAY 14TH & THURSDAY 15TH JULY

ON-CAMPUS EVENT

How do you create a sustainable product and how can a degree link to this discipline? With sustainability becoming more important in our everyday lives, we want to offer students the opportunity to explore this further across different creative industries in fun, interactive workshops. Taking part in Birmingham City University’s summer school will mean you’ll get to learn about how to embed sustainability in different areas of design including jewellery, fashion, textiles, architecture, art, theatre and events.

You will have the chance to come on-campus (government guidelines permitting) and take part in a choice of fun, creative workshops. You will understand how broad your career options can be when studying creative subjects and the valuable, transferable skills you can gain along the way. You’ll hear from Birmingham City University alumni and guest speakers who will inspire and motivate you to explore the creative arts!

You will choose two of the following workshops to take part in:

  • Applied Theatre and Design for Performance
  • Architecture and Design
  • Fashion and Jewellery
  • Art and Visual Communication

The workshops will finish with a live Q&A from guest speakers and student ambassadors, as well as showing off what you’ve created in the workshops on Instagram. If you want the chance to explore the many ways these subjects could lead to an exciting career, go ahead and apply for a place!

Please note that an alternative virtual event will be offered if government guidelines do not allow for on-campus events.

STEPS TO UNIFEST

APRIL/MAY

Submit your application

MAY/JUNE

If you are offered a place, your host university will be in touch with further information about the event

JUNE/JULY

UniFest goes live! Events take place from late June through to mid-July

Any questions? Email us aimhigher@bham.contacts.ac.uk