By collaborating with universities, we increase young people’s feeling of belonging at university, prepare them academically and personally, and build confidence to make informed choices about their potential futures.
Future Leaders in each hub are invited to participate in a university insight day, spending a day at a university, which includes subject-tasters, campus tours, the opportunity to meet student ambassadors and network with other young people from their school and local area.
You can read about our University Insight Day at Anglia Ruskin University.
University insight days are consistently shown to be one of the most valued parts of the Future Leaders Programme
“University insight days…[take] the coaching conversations and put them in context of a real place - university…understanding what I want and where”.
Since 2022, Villiers Park has run residentials in partnership with universities, giving young people firsthand experience of time on a university campus. Residentials empower young people to visualise themselves at university. Students come together from schools across the country and collaborate on projects that increase their academic skills, motivation to learn and confidence.
Case Study: University of Bath Year 10 Residential
“It helped me plan out my future…it helped me see what I would like to do”.
In June 2023, the University of Bath hosted a four-day residential for 86 Year 10 students from 14 schools in our Future Leaders schools network. Students took part in academic study sessions, learned about apprenticeships and early careers, and heard from volunteers from Sopra Steria and Nationwide about their education and career journeys.
Qualitative insights highlighted the value that students placed on expanding their social networks, through meeting student ambassadors who were relatable role models. They helped to increase students’ feeling of belonging at university.
“The nights staying away, being thrown together and being in a different setting makes it easier to connect with other people”.
Supported by the UPP Foundation, Villiers Park has been piloting a transition project, developing a programme of targeted support for young people before they go to university and during their first year.
The project has been informed through focus groups with current students at three universities and a co-creation process to develop and design the course content.
Early results indicate that students who have engaged with coaching and support during the transition period have a greater awareness of how to seek support between results day and starting university, as well as once they have made that transition.
The Early Entry programme supports Year 12 and 13 students who are applying to universities or courses that have a UCAS deadline of 15 October in any given year. These include Oxford, Cambridge, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry.
The programme is designed to deliver accurate information about these applications and develop three core areas: Super-Curriculars; Application process; Interview technique and skills.
The programme is currently run entirely online. Most sessions are delivered at evenings and weekends, outside of school/college times.