UniFest 2023 - Aimhigher West Midlands

WHAT IS UNIFEST?

UniFest Summer Schools take place at six universities across the West Midlands. UniFest gives you the chance to spend time exploring university life, meeting students and staff, making friends and having 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 explore university life and study in general, and others focus on certain career or study options. All UniFest events include lots of hands-on sessions and a fun-packed programme of social activities.

WHAT’S THE CATCH?

There is no catch. 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.

Download the UniFest 2023 Directory

View the UniFest 2023 Directory e-book

"It helped improve my confidence massively and created lasting friendships. I miss it already."

"The team made us feel really comfortable and we got a really good feel as to what uni could be like."

"Every day was different and interesting which kept me engaged the whole way through."

"It was a great experience and it has changed my future career aspirations."

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, you can contact Aimhigher: aimhigher@contacts.bham.ac.uk

WHO CAN 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. For applicants who meet the criteria, we aim to offer a maximum of five places to each school.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

UniFest is FREE!

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 2022 gave 239 students the opportunity to explore the world of higher education and make informed decisions about their future.

93% of learners that attended UniFest 2022 were very satisfied/satisfied with the event!

Download the UniFest 2022 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.

 

WHAT ABOUT MISSING SCHOOL?

If UniFest clashes with 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 parents/carers with Aimhigher universities so they can run the programme. The forms parents/carers will be sent if you are 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 parents/carers individually. Full details are on 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 also 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, and make these available for assurance purposes.

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT?

Universities will liaise directly with young people and their parents and carers about travel arrangements.

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?

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 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…

UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM

YOUR FUTURE, YOUR CHOICE (Residential)

LOCATION

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT

DATES

Wednesday 19th – Friday 21st July 2023

WHAT WILL I DO?

Are you interested in going to university, but not 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!

From staying in student halls of residence to attending university workshops, you will experience life as a university student. 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. There will be a fun-filled social programme for the evenings 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 around campus, make sure you settle in and, most importantly, answer any questions you may have on life at university.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

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!

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. All reasonable travel costs will be reimbursed with proof of receipt.

UNIVERSITY OF WORCESTER

THE MIND OF A CRIMINAL (Non-Residential)

LOCATION

University of Worcester, Farrier St, Worcester WR1 3BZ

DATES

Sunday 2nd – Tuesday 4th July 2023

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?

Your cost of travelling to and from the summer school will be covered, in addition to one accompanying adult if required. We recommend travelling by train; the university will purchase and post your tickets to you ahead of the event. The first day will be delivered virtually, while the second and third days will be in person on campus.

Upon arrival you will be met by our Summer School Ambassadors who will guide you to and from campus.

NEWMAN UNIVERSITY

CREATIVE CHANGE (Residential)

LOCATION

Newman University, Genners Lane, Bartley Green, Birmingham, B32 3NT

DATES

Wednesday 5th – Friday 7th July 2023  (please note these are the correct dates for this event, unfortunately the UniFest Directory dates are incorrect)

WHAT WILL I DO?

If you’re passionate about using your voice and enjoy writing or performance, then Creative Change is the summer school for you! You will spend three days at Newman University with the amazing humanities team. You will have the opportunity to develop your writing and creative skills and explore ways in which using your voice can change perspectives. You’ll get to meet a lot of like-minded young people and speak to academics and current students.

Each day we will have fun activities planned in the evening, so you can unwind and socialise with the group. Discover the campus and what Newman has to offer with our campus tours and talks around student life – there will be plenty of food, drinks and giveaways too, maybe even a quiz or two! Challenge yourselves and our staff with your perspectives and questions (which is a big part of university life).

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

You’ll learn what it’s like to study a creative degree at university and the careers which they can lead to. You will gain techniques that will improve your skills in writing, performing and production. These skills will help prepare you for HE courses in Applied Writing, Creative Writing, Drama, Media, and Journalism.

HOW WILL I GET THERE?

If you’re travelling independently or via public transport, arrangements can be made for you to meet Newman’s student ambassadors at the central point of New Street station. We will then travel directly to campus. We will be on hand to guide and direct you if you will be travelling to campus independently or getting dropped off by parents/carers.

BIRMINGHAM CITY UNIVERSITY

SCHOOL OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT (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 12th – Friday 14th July 2023

WHAT WILL I DO?

Join us on this summer school programme where you will understand how the built environment can be the solution to many of the challenges a changing climate presents us with. You will learn about energy efficiency, sustainable place-making, active travel and inclusive neighbourhoods and you will have the opportunity to devise your own solutions to the challenges ahead. You’ll see what Birmingham City University is like, get to speak with university students and staff and receive careers advice and guidance. For off-campus events on Wednesday and Thursday evening, there will be social activities for attendees to take part in, before staying in our halls of residence (University Locks) for two nights.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

The programme will involve a series of engaging academic workshops, exploring how the homes we live in and the buildings that we work in add to global greenhouse gas emissions. Academic staff and student ambassadors will teach you more about their university experiences, the content of courses and how these degrees can be applied to relevant careers in the industry.

You will learn more about university and higher education, gaining insight into what life is like as a university student. You will also learn what it could be like to study a property development and planning course.

HOW WILL I GET THERE?

You will be asked to arrive and depart from University Locks student accommodation at our City Centre Campus. Arrival will be in the morning of Wednesday 12th July and departure will be Friday 14th July. University staff and student ambassadors will meet and chaperone attendees at arrival and departure points/times.

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

Parents and carers will be contacted in advance of the residential visit to confirm if they will be dropping off/collecting their child, or if their child requires alternative transport. In the case of parents/carers arranging transport, parents/carers can submit a reimbursement claim for mileage and parking, if applicable. In the case of alternative transport, we may be able to provide public or taxi transport for attendees to and from campus. This is subject to budget, so details of this will be confirmed with parents, carers and attendees closer to the time.

Parents will be contacted to share any additional requirements in advance of the visit, so any accessibility requirements will be considered in travel arrangements.

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE BIRMINGHAM

VOCATIONAL UNIVERSITY PATHWAYS (Non-Residential)

LOCATION

McIntyre House, 2 Holland Street, Birmingham B3 1PW

DATES

Wednesday 12th – Friday 14th July 2023

WHAT WILL I DO?

This non-residential summer school will give you real-life experience of what it’s like attending a vocational university, with hands-on activities and sessions to get stuck in with. We’ll explore a range of different course areas to help you decide what you enjoy and whether learning in a more vocational way is right for you!

We’ll explore a range of subject areas to give you a taster in the courses we offer and specialise in, such as Computing, Engineering, Food, Sport, Business, Health and more. You’ll get to meet lecturers, take part in sessions and have a look around the excellent facilities as well as having the opportunity to speak to student ambassadors who can help guide you with your next steps.

We’ll also explore what university is like, exploring commuting, budgeting, student finance and the realities of what student life is actually like.

WHAT WILL I LEARN?

Through your timetable and group activities, you will understand what it’s like studying at a vocational university and whether it is the right fit for your learning style and career aspirations. You’ll also learn about the range of subject areas you can study.

You’ll gain insight into what it’s like to live at home while studying by attending this non-residential summer school, plus you’ll find out more about university in general and explore whether it’s a future option for you.

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). All reasonable travel costs will be reimbursed with proof of receipt.

If you are travelling by car, there is parking available at The Link for drop-off only. Your parents/carers will be able to claim back the mileage for your travel by car.

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

ASTON UNIVERSITY

STEM (Residential)

LOCATION

Aston University, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET

DATES

Wednesday 12th – Friday 14th July 2023

WHAT WILL I DO?

Explore the exciting study and career opportunities that Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) have to offer! UniFest 2023 at Aston University will give you the chance to visit the 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 about first-hand experiences from Aston students and staff, gaining insight into what life at 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.

Quote from 2022 attendee:
“It has helped me realise what life at university would be like and furthered my aspirations”

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. Whilst all sessions and activities during UniFest will be completely free of charge, unfortunately we will not be able to cover the costs of your transport to and from campus.

STEPS TO UNIFEST

NOVEMBER-MARCH

Submit your application online! Applications close on Friday 24th March 2023.

APRIL-JUNE

If you are offered a place, you will be contacted in April 2023 by your host university who will provide more information.

JULY

UniFest begins! Events take place throughout July.