UniFest 2024 - Aimhigher West Midlands

WHAT IS UNIFEST?

UniFest Summer School gives you the chance to explore university life, meet current students and staff and make new friends. With five summer school events to choose from at different universities across the West Midlands, you will have an action-packed, fun experience.

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 consider 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:

  • I live in an area where not many young people go to university
  • I am a young carer
  • I have a disability or learning difficulty
  • I am in the care of my local authority
  • I receive Free School Meals /FSM6/ Pupil Premium
  • My parents or carers did not go to university

WHAT WILL I DO?

That depends on which UniFest event you choose! Some events explore university life and study in general, and others focus on specific careers or study options. All UniFest events include lots of hands-on sessions and a fun programme of social activities.

IS UNIFEST FREE?

Yes! UniFest is funded by universities and schools and is totally free of charge. For residential UniFest events, meals, accommodation and activities are all paid for (although you may want to bring a little pocket money with you). The universities will help you plan how to get to and from events. If travel costs will make it difficult for you to attend, please get in touch by emailing aimhigher@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

"The student ambassadors made me feel really comfortable and at home. I also learnt about subjects I've never heard of."

"I had a really good time and made lots of friends."

"I enjoyed everything and the whole experience has boosted my confidence."

"This has been an amazing experience, I've made so many friends. This experience has changed my mind about university."

HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?

You will need to complete the online application form at the bottom of this page telling us about you and your career interests. Your parents or carers will need to complete parts of the form, and your school will need to approve your application.

WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE ARE MORE APPLICANTS THAN PLACES?

UniFest is very popular and there are often more applicants than places. We ask for information about your family background and advise you to choose several events so that we can offer places as fairly as possible. If you have any questions about eligibility, please email us: aimhigher@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

View the UniFest 2024 brochure here

Please note, ‘Inside Health Careers’, the UniFest event at Birmingham Newman University, has been cancelled.

WHO CAN APPLY?

UniFest is a targeted programme. Universities ensure places are offered to young people who meet certain criteria. We use a weighted system to identify and prioritise applicants based on information about their backgrounds gathered as part of the application process. For applicants who meet the criteria, we aim to offer a maximum of five places to each school, however this is flexible.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

UniFest gives you the opportunity to find out what university is all about so you can make informed decisions about your future. The experience is exciting, fun and boosts your motivation to do your best at school.

UniFest 2023 gave 224 students the opportunity to explore the world of higher education and make informed decisions about their future.

95% of learners were satisfied or very satisfied with the event.

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.

Read the UniFest 2023 Summary Report

 

WHAT ABOUT MISSING SCHOOL?

UniFest events take place during term-time therefore you will be expected to take time out of your typical school timetable to take part. If UniFest clashes with any significant school activities, please speak to a teacher before applying.

HOW WILL YOU PROTECT PERSONAL DATA?

To take part in UniFest, we need to share information about you and your child with Aimhigher universities so they can run the programme. The forms you will be sent if your child is offered a place are important, and we will not be able to accommodate anyone who does not complete them in full and return them on time. The application form also asks your permission to use data to help us see if young people attending UniFest go on to apply for university. Any information we publish will not refer to you or your child individually. Full details are included in the application form.

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.

WHAT ABOUT SUPERVISION & SAFEGUARDING?

For every UniFest programme, universities take full responsibility for safeguarding, and will liaise directly with parents and carers to agree transport/hand-over arrangements etc. Teachers do not need to supervise young people attending UniFest. Aimhigher universities operate comprehensive safeguarding, child protection and health and safety policies and procedures. They will undertake risk assessments for all events and activities which will be published on our website in May/June 2024 ahead of the events.

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT?

Universities will liaise directly with young people and their parents and carers about travel arrangements. If travel costs will make it difficult for you to attend, please get in touch ASAP by emailing aimhigher@contacts.bham.ac.uk and we will arrange financial support.

IS THERE A CODE OF CONDUCT?

Yes, all students must sign a Code of Conduct which makes it clear that they may be sent home if they do not behave as expected. Universities expect everyone to behave responsibly and follow instructions. If there are problems, parents/carers will be kept informed throughout.

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 parents/carers 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. Making direct contact between the university, the applicant and their family can often help reassure and overcome any worries or concerns.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Check you meet at least one of the criteria and read about each UniFest event to decide which you would like to go to.

Talk with your parents/carers and complete the online application form with them. Let a teacher know you’re applying too.

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

CHOOSE YOUR PROGRAMME…

BIRMINGHAM CITY UNIVERSITY

MEDIA PRODUCTION (Residential)

LOCATION

  • City Centre Campus: Parkside building, Birmingham City University, 5 Cardigan Street, Birmingham, B4 7BD
  • City Centre Campus (Halls of Residence): University Locks, 50 Curzon Street, Birmingham B4 7JX

DATES

Wednesday 10 – Friday 12 July 2024

WHAT WILL I DO?

If you are interested in the world of Media and want to learn more about the careers available in the industry, then Birmingham City University has the summer school for you! As we explore the world of Media, we will discover more about roles that you may not have considered before, such as social media management. You will also plan, research and film your own news report based on a topic you are passionate about.

You’ll see what university is like, as well as the opportunity to speak with university students and staff who will be able to answer your burning questions. We want to give you the full university experience, which includes fun! In the evenings, there will be social activities for you to take part in, before staying overnight in our halls of residence which includes your own bedroom and private bathroom.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

You will learn about university and higher education, gaining insight into what life is like as a university student, including the support available while you study. You will have taster sessions surrounding Media Production, providing you with the knowledge and insight into the varied careers available in Media.

HOW WILL I GET THERE?

You will need to make your own way to and from Birmingham City University at our City Centre Campus (address in ‘location’ section). There will be university staff and student ambassadors ready to meet you at the key meeting points.

Parents/carers will be contacted in advance of the residential visit to confirm if they will be dropping off/collecting you, or if you need alternative transport. You will also be contacted to share any additional requirements in advance of the visit, so any accessibility requirements will be considered in travel arrangements.

UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

YOUR FUTURE, YOUR CHOICE (Residential)

LOCATION

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT

DATES

Wednesday 10 – Friday 12 July 2024

WHAT WILL I DO?

Are you interested in going to university, but not sure what that involves or what you’d study? Explore your options at the University of Birmingham’s, Your Future, Your Choice Summer School to find out what possibilities await you!

From staying in student halls of residence to attending university workshops, you will experience life as a university student. During the day, our academic staff will deliver fun, engaging and eye-opening sessions across a wide range of subject areas.

And of course, university isn’t just about studying – it’s about having lots of fun too. There will be a fun-filled social programme for the evenings too.

Whilst you’re with us, you will be looked after by our amazing student ambassadors, who are all current students at the University. They will be on hand to guide you around campus, make sure you settle in and, most importantly, answer any questions you may have on life at university.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

As more jobs require higher level qualifications, you will learn about the transferable skills you gain from any degree.  You will gain an insight into student life, independent learning, and university teaching styles – you may even decide on a subject you’d like to study!

HOW WILL I GET THERE?

You will need to make your own way to the University. Student ambassadors will be on hand to meet you at our very own train station – University (Birmingham) and at the designated drop-off point for those travelling by car or bus.

ASTON UNIVERSITY

STEM (Residential)

LOCATION

Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET

DATES

Wednesday 10 – Friday 12 July 2024

WHAT WILL I DO?

Explore the exciting study and career opportunities that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) have to offer! UniFest 2024 at Aston University will give you the chance to visit our campus, participate in STEM subject taster sessions and receive information and advice towards your future career aspirations. Our residential event means that you will stay for two nights in on-campus accommodation, which includes a private bedroom and bathroom. As well as this, our evening social activities will enable you to meet new people, make new friends and develop your confidence.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

You can hear first-hand experiences from Aston students and staff, gaining insight into what life at a university is like. In developing your knowledge of higher education, you will learn about why people go to university, the variety of courses available and how these can be applied to future careers in the STEM industry.

HOW WILL I GET THERE?

Based in Birmingham city centre, there are many transport options available for you to make your own way to and from the Aston University Campus. When you arrive in the morning of the first day, there will be student ambassadors located all around campus and ready to show to you to the Main Building reception.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE BIRMINGHAM

GENERATION U(CB) (Non-residential)

LOCATION

McIntyre House, 2 Holland Street, Birmingham B3 1PW

DATES

Wednesday 10 – Friday 12 July 2024

WHAT WILL I DO?

Become the next generation that steps into the shoes of a university student, exploring who and what you want to be next.

This non-residential summer school follows your own university journey, from first year to graduation. Take part in exciting activities that mirror big university events such a fresher’s week and exploring campus, sports and societies fair, lectures and seminars, the dreaded dissertation and then the excitement of graduation!

We’ll have a range of fun and engaging workshops to help you meet fellow summer school students and find out more about university life, get stuck into practical sessions and subject specific workshops (like business, tourism, mixology and even robotics) as well as creating your very own university for your dissertation, finishing with your graduation ceremony and celebration.

Explore your university life with us this summer as you become the next generation.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

You’ll get involved with a variety of subject specific workshops as individuals and groups to find out what you enjoy in subjects that you might not have experienced before.

Experience living at home while studying (something a lot of students do) by attending this non-residential summer school and preparing you for your next steps as you embark onto college or sixth form next year.

HOW WILL I GET THERE?

You will travel to and from campus each day. You can be dropped off at McIntyre House or arrive by public transport. We will have staff available to escort you from public transport points including Birmingham New Street (trains) and Colmore Row (bus).  If you are travelling by car, there is parking available at The Link for drop-off only.

During the summer school all transport arrangements for activities will be organized and paid for by the University.

UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER

THE MIND OF CRIMINALS (Non-residential)

LOCATION

University of Worcester, Farrier St, Worcester WR1 3BZ

DATES

Wednesday 3 – Friday 5 July 2024

WHAT WILL I DO?

This exciting summer school will give you the opportunity to experience what it is like being a student at university by taking part in sessions on Law, Forensic Biology, Criminology and Policing. You will get a taste of the brilliant university facilities available, such as a custom-built courtroom where you will be working on a mock trial.

You will learn from academic experts who will share their knowledge on what it’s like to speak in court and how to present evidence collected at a crime scene. You’ll also see inside the minds of criminals, exploring why crimes are committed. By the end of the summer school, you’ll have a greater understanding of which options could help you to pursue a career in criminal justice.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

You will develop insights into Psychology, Criminology, Forensic Biology 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. This is an ideal opportunity to discover more about a student’s take on university life. We’ll also look at the range of careers available in the justice sector.

HOW WILL I GET THERE?

We recommend travelling to the university by train if possible. Upon arrival, you will be met by our Summer School Ambassadors who will guide you to and from campus. If you are offered a place at UniFest and require financial support for travel in order to attend the event, please let us know ASAP.

STEPS TO UNIFEST

NOVEMBER-MARCH

Submit your application online! Applications close on Friday 22 March 2024.

APRIL-JUNE

If you are offered a place, you will be contacted in April 2024 by your host university who will provide more information.

JULY

UniFest begins! Events take place throughout July.