Secondary pupils learn about ‘life after school’

Over 60 school pupils from across Dumfries & Galloway attended the event
Over 60 school pupils from across Dumfries & Galloway attended the event

At the end of the school term, the University of the West of Scotland hosted a Global Citizens Day for senior secondary school pupils from across Dumfries and Galloway.

Over 60 pupils attended to experience life as a university student to help them make decisions about life after school. This was part of a series of events backed by the Scottish Funding Council and held at UWS campuses in Ayr, Dumfries, Hamilton and Paisley.

As schools get back into the new academic year, senior pupils are faced with deciding what to do next. This event aimed to provide students with advice and guidance about university life – just one of the many options available to school leavers.

The day started with a presentation from David Ross, Regional Manager for SQA on the flexibility of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) and an introduction to the various routes and pathways into Higher Education. This was followed by a top tips session about writing a personal statement - an important element of the application process for university admissions which provides applicants with the chance to stand out from the crowd!

During the second session, pupils were given the opportunity to stand in the footsteps of a university student. Each pupil attended 3 mock-lectures in one of the degree areas offered by UWS in Dumfries - business, computing, childhood studies, social work and nursing. Each lecture focused on providing an insight into skills and attributes, global citizenship and enterprise and resourcefulness in the context of their chosen discipline.

After lunch, Jean Best, a local Rotarian and leader of the Rotary International Peace Ambassadors programme, encouraged pupils to acknowledge that they will be the leaders of the future and urged them to take responsibility, in a small way, to understand and resolve (even personal or local) conflict and to lead change.

The afternoon focused on preparing pupils to leave university and included workshop sessions led by Careers Advisers from Skills Development Scotland covering an overview of the labour market and CV writing. This was followed by a ‘dress to impress’ interview themed fashion show organised by UWS nursing lecturers and students and finished with a role play from SDS advisers to illustrate good and bad interview techniques.

The day came to a close on a high in the Crichton Memorial Church where pupils were fortunate to experience the joy of a graduation! Pupils were dressed in formal graduation gowns and invited to take centre stage in the church to receive their certificate of participation after their UWS experience. Pupils received their certificates from Dr Shirley Turberville, Campus Director at UWS and Dame Barbara Kelly, Chair of the Crichton Campus Leadership Group.

Pupils left feeling informed about the many options available to them and inspired by their experience of university and of a graduation.