Posted 7 July 2010
More than 360 students landed at Harper Adams University College in Shropshire this week to ‘broaden their horizons’ and find out more about what life could be like if they chose to go on to Higher Education.
HEC Director, Richard Jopling, said this year’s event was the most popular ever.
“We have been overwhelmed by the popularity of this year’s event,” he said.
“We had exceeded our target of 350 students a month before the deadline for applications so I am afraid that we had to turn away more than 50 students who would like to have come. So the message for next year is to apply sooner rather than later.”
The HEC (Higher Education Choices) conference takes place in July every year and gives college students a chance to sample university life by being advised on degree courses and careers in the rural and land-based industries, staying in halls of residence, going to lectures and taking part in hands-on activities.
The event which this year had the theme ‘Broaden My Horizons,’ was opened by broadcaster and writer Paul Heiney. Paul was able to draw on his wealth of experience in the countryside and farming to encourage his audience to broaden their horizons and to seek out the degree level course which most suited their abilities and ambitions.
During the morning students also had the opportunity to obtain informal advice on courses and careers by going to the ‘Information Session’ and visiting the various stands where a wealth of literature on courses and careers was available as well as the opportunity to speak with a wide range of lecturers and other representatives from the land-based and animal industries.
The afternoon saw the youngsters taking in various lectures such as Food Technology, Land/Estate Management, Business and Leisure &Tourism to help them make decisions about the right course to study at university.
There were also tractor and trailer farm tours and the chance to go on tours around the campus and explore areas such as the dairy unit and off-road vehicle track, with students being escorted by Harper Student Ambassadors, either by mini-bus or on foot.
After a day of seeing what Harper Adams has to offer, the students took part in Student Union (SU) activities, had a party and had fun! The evening wound down with a taste of life in the SU to show the flip side to learning when the students move on to higher education.
After a late night, the students had breakfast before embarking on taught activities linked to their possible course choices, giving them a real opportunity to put theory into practice. Sessions included Farm Animal Reproduction, Equine Behaviour, Valuing a Building, Veterinary Nursing, an Introduction to Adventure Recreation and many more.
Sam Margrett, 18, from Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, said: “I’m interested in doing Agriculture and Agronomy but I’m undecided about where to go. I would definitely recommend a HEC conference because it gives you a better understanding of university life and it opens people’s eyes.”
The buzz and fun of HEC 2010 is still ongoing. Sally, Bishop, HEC Coordinator said: “There are now 185 students on the HEC 2010 Facebook 2010 with more joining all the time.
“One thing is quite clear and that is that they all had a fabulous time and loved every minute of it.”
Watch the video to see what HEC is all about.