Widening participation

How my experiences of a Widening Participation Programme helped me transition into university life

Taking part in a Widening Participation programme was one of the best things I decided to do over the summer of 2017. I was originally on the fence about going to university as I wasn’t sure if I was the ‘right’ person for it, whether I could afford it and how I would cope interacting with new people from different parts of the country and the world.

Throughout my week on The York Experience Summer School, the staff showed me that an individual from my background – brought up in a single-parent, working class family and being the first in my family to go to university – can be successful at university.

The Widening Participation programme gave me the opportunity to explore the different courses that are available at university and I learnt that I could choose to study more than one subject area and be given the chance to try something new that I had not considered before.  

The Summer School definitely helped me handle the transition from A-level teaching and learning to the more independent style of university. The sessions also gave me first-hand experience of what to expect from the university environment and how to deal with any issues that might arise during my time at university. It made a huge difference to me when I started university - I didn’t feel as though I lagged behind everyone else as I knew what to expect.

I’ve made great friends on the Widening Participation programme and we still keep in contact now, some of them have even come to the University of York and it was great to see some familiar faces when I first started my degree.

To find out more about opportunities for 16-18 students at the University of York, click here.


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