Posted 15 July 2011
Meeting new people and forming friendships with people from across the country was amazing"
More than 350 teenagers travelled to Shropshire this week to take part in a three-day residential university experience.
Higher Education Choices (HEC), at Harper Adams University College, gives participants a taste of campus life and of courses they might wish to study in the land-based sector.
Subjects covered included agriculture, animal health and welfare, veterinary medicine, equine studies, engineering, business, food, countryside management, rural land management and more.
Conference delegates travelled from all over the UK and Ireland, with many taking advantage of subsidised coaches and flights to get the University College.
After taking part in open activities – including campus and facility tours, falconry displays and off-road vehicle experiences – the students were given an official welcome to the campus by Harper Adams Principal Dr David Llewellyn, who introduced guest speaker Adam Henson, who talked about his background, how he got into television and gave advice on working hard to make dreams a reality. (See related story)
Mr Henson later joined the delegates at a careers exhibition – where he was in popular demand for autographs and pictures.
Monday afternoon seminars covered course topics, as well as student finance, support for students with learning difficulties and pre-university jobs.
With the first day of fact-finding and learning over, the teenagers were given a taste of activities in the students’ union bar – with a challenge set by the “Redshirt” ambassadors (current students helping to manage the event) then a barbecue and party. Monday evening was a highlight for many of the delegates.
“The best part was the Redshirts’ challenge, followed by the party. It was super fun and I made loads of new friends,” said Charlotte Dabell, from Staffordshire.
The final day of HEC is very much hands-on, and with the ice well and truly broken the delegates were confident to muck in with their chosen activities – from sheep husbandry and to drinks marketing, to mammal trapping and power hydraulics. Each delegate enjoyed three different activities to help them make their minds up about future career paths.
This year HEC had its own dedicated Facebook page, which brought the delegates together before, during and after the event. Praise has been flooding in since before the teenagers had even left the campus.
Clare Sadler, from Cheshire, wrote: There were so many great parts of HEC that it’s hard to choose just one. Meeting new people and forming friendships with people from across the country was amazing but the Redshirts’ Challenge and party really gave us an insight into university life and how much of a great time we can have as well as the serious side.”
Maddi Naish, from Oxfordshire, added: “The Redshirts’ Challenge was amazing! I have never experienced anything like it and it was so much fun! Adam Henson was a great, inspirational speaker - having my photo taken with him was so cool! A great couple of days, thanks Harper!”