ACU gives high school students uni experience

Published: Monday 1st February 2016

A group of Year 9 students from ACU partner schools across NSW engaged in the challenging week of learning with the theme "Our Colourful World" for the Equity Pathways U@UNIVERSITY program. This exciting 5-day live university experience in mid January guides students in preparation for both their immediate and future academic endeavours and is offered at no cost to students from the five ACU partner schools.

The U@UNIVERSITY philosophy is to develop in students a love of learning. Students are stimulated and challenged through a range of activities and workshops covering English, Mathematics, Art and Science disciplines.

The workshops, held at ACU Strathfield and North Sydney campuses were devised to help students identify and create meaningful links in their educational journey. Current ACU students (Student2students) joined the group throughout the week, which supports the idea of students talking to students through peer support.

The week included a guided discussion tour of Art Gallery NSW, a walk around the scenic harbour and a ferry trip to Manly for a swim and fish and chips on the beach. Many of the students had never explored an art gallery, visited the city or journeyed on the ferry to Manly.

Students visited the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE) in Redfern for Indigenous games, dinner, a smoking ceremony and a fireside yarn with a local Indigenous elder. This was a highlight for many of the students – some of whom were currently researching their own Indigenous heritage.

The week culminated in a graduation dinner celebrated at St John’s College where special guest Professor Jude Butcher presented students with a graduation certificate. Students presented their insights from the week to parents, teachers, principals and special guests.

Feedback from students included:

  • “Before coming to ACU and participating in U@UNIVERSITY I really did not know what university would be like so this program was very eye opening and reduced my stress about attending university. I could not have spent my holidays any better!”
  • “The lectures gave me an inside view of what people do at university. I would like to go to university after school”
  • “U@UNIVERSITY showed me a completely new way of learning and that university isn’t just a school after school it is a good place to achieve your goals”