On Sunday 23rd July, the Widening Participation team welcomed AS Year students from various locations across Northern Ireland to Queen’s University; for the first Pathway Opportunity Programme Residential. After a bustling morning kitting out the student’s flats, excited faces began arriving to collect their red hoodies and settle into Elms Village for the week ahead.
During the residential week, the students attended academic sessions in the morning and afternoon with their respective Pathways; Law, Computer Science or Food, Microbiology and Environment. During these sessions, students received guidance from subject specific mentors as well as the academic, to aid their learning process and support them in preparing for their final assignment. All students enrolled in the Pathway Opportunity Programme receive a guaranteed offer to Queen's University as well as a bursary on arrival. However, their performance in an academic assignment set during the summer residential is used to determine eligibility of up to a two grade reduced offer on their admissions into Queen's University.
The Pathway Opportunity Programme Residential offered students a unique and tailored opportunity to engage with employers related to their chosen Pathways. The Food, Microbiology and Environment Pathway split up to attend employer engagement sessions hosted at Hovis Ltd, Dale Farm Ltd, ABP Food Group and Gilfresh Produce, whilst the Computer Science Pathway group received an employer visit from Kainos. The Law Pathway students also attended an interactive and engaging session hosted by Herbert Smith Freehills. This opportunity gave the students an insight into prospective career paths for their chosen pathway and the chance to find out more information from potential future employers.
It wasn't all work and no play during the residential; to round off day one, the sunshine provided the perfect backdrop for a BBQ held at Riddel Hall, followed by ice-cream and a Classic Sports Day event on the grounds outside. Later in the evening, the students attended a ‘Night at the Races’ set up in Riddel Hall, where competition was high, placing token ‘bets’ to win prizes. Students also visited Belfast Activity Centre, where they tried out activities such as caving, archery, mountain biking and climbing, as well as visiting We are Vertigo and Crumlin Road Gaol.
We created several videos from the summer residential. Check them out!
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