Posted 12 July 2013
HEC really helps you decide what you want to do.
More than 200 teenagers have taken part in a two-day residential taster course at Harper Adams University giving them a unique insight into university life.
Higher Education Choices (HEC) gives potential students a taste of life on campus and of the courses they are considering studying at the university near Newport.
The participants, who travelled from all over the UK and Ireland, were able to experience lectures, take part in hands-on activities, stay overnight in the halls of residence and spend an evening in the Students’ Union.
Laura Coulthard, Marketing Manager Student Recruitment and Education Liaison, said: “The event was a huge success made even better by the fabulous weather.
“A great time was had by both students and staff and many students commented the experience had helped them to make informed decisions about their future.”
The event, which took place on Sunday and Monday, kicked off with an ‘Icebreaker’ session where a Zumba instructor put the teenagers through their paces and got them to take part in fun games such as wheelbarrow races and limbo.
Sunday evening was rounded off in the Students’ Union with a challenge set by the university’s Student Ambassadors followed by a party.
The second day of HEC saw the youngsters taking part in their chosen lectures to give them an insight into the various courses on offer at Harper Adams.
Sessions were put on by all academic departments and included activities such as Milk Production, Vehicle Evaluation, Pasture Management, Valuing a Building, Small Animal Welfare, Agronomy, Habitat Mapping, Chocolate Brand Positioning & Tasting and much more.
Each youngster enjoyed three different lectures to help them make up their minds about their future career path.
Later in the day the teenagers were given a talk by Harper Adams’ Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Mills, who then introduced the guest speaker Jay Schofield.
Jay, who graduated from Harper Adams in 2007 after completing a BEng and MSc in Off Road Vehicle Design, talked to the group about his time at Harper Adams and his career at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
The 31-year-old, originally from Wakefield, was one of only 25 engineers out of 4,000 accepted onto JLR’s graduate scheme in 2007 and has since held a number of different roles supporting the development of new vehicles.
His current role sees him manage and deliver fuel system components for JLR’s large SUV products.
His work has taken him all over the world testing prototype vehicles most recently in Morocco and the USA.
Speaking at the end of HEC, which takes place every July and has been running for 26 years, Fleur Robinson, from Cheshire, who is looking to study Veterinary Nursing, said she really enjoyed the experience and had made some new friends as a result.
The 17-year-old added: “HEC has been really helpful and it has been better than I was expecting. My favourite part was all the activities, particularly the ‘It’s All About Image’ activity in the Veterinary Nursing Unit. HEC really helps you decide what you want to do.”
Abby Lloyd, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, said: “I thought it was well organised and it has been a great experience getting to know everyone. The activities I did were very good.
“HEC gives you a feel of the atmosphere, the people and tutors, as well as what goes on on campus and the lifestyle here,” added the 17-year-old, who is looking to study Veterinary Physiotherapy.
“I would say to people thinking of doing HEC to definitely come as it gives you an insight into what university is like.”