Posted 28 June 2017
"I think students went home happy; first indications are that it was a successful event. The feedback from the staff has been really positive."
Seventy students from five local schools and colleges congregated at Harper Adams University for a business education day.
The 2017 ‘Harper Means Business’ activity was in association with ‘Higher Horizons’, a branch of the National Collaborative Outreach Program (NCOP) which encourages students to pursue university careers. “The purpose of the event was to introduce students to life at university,” explained senior tutor Jane Headley.
She said: “We run it for two reasons; we run it primarily to let students onto campus to look at a university, but also for us it’s just good to get to know our local schools and colleges. We’re a bit hidden sometimes here at Harper so it’s just good to open our doors, to invite them in to do something to just find out a bit more about the fact we’re here…
“We ran this event for the first time last year. We’d like to continue it, particularly working with the NCOP team because their job is to encourage students to consider going to university and that works really well in terms of what we’re trying to achieve, which is awareness of university courses and studying business.”
Schools represented at the event were Blythe Bridge High School, Newcastle-under-Lyme College, Stoke Sixth Form, Haywood Academy and Thomas Adams School, Wem. “I think the students went home happy,” says senior tutor at Harper Adams University Jane Headley. “The feedback from staff has been really positive.”
“One of the benefits of meeting pupils from schools we have not worked with much before is that we can demonstrate the breadth of the Harper Adams offer,” Jane added. “Although the university’s roots are in agriculture and food production, and this year’s event was themed around the breakfast food supply chain, business is a much more general subject and students by no means require a prior knowledge of the food industry.”
Morning lectures at Harper Means Business gave the students a taste of university teaching style. The day commenced with an inspirational keynote lecture from Professor Wim de Koning, about his own time at university. Wim told the visitors that he failed his first term at university, but with hard work and perseverance managed to get his studies back on track and eventually achieved a doctorate. He is now Professor of Business & Enterprise Development at HAS University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and a Visiting Professor at Harper Adams.
An interactive social media lecture conducted by Harper Adams graduate Archie Homer educated the students on Google analytics and how an internet search can affect Google data, using the example of the pupils’ preferred breakfast eggs. Another lecture related to the supply chain and how a growing global population has affected supply and demand.
Ten parallel activities followed in the afternoon, with each student participating in two each. Activities included: supermarket product specifications, ‘game theory’, economics in the milk trade and the sugar content of tomatoes, taught by Harper Adams University’s own lecturers.
Story by Lauren Ragbourne, press office intern.