Posted 15 July 2002AROUND 50 STUDENTS took advantage of a free bus, which called at pick-up points all over Northern Ireland, to make their way to the 14th annual National Sixth Form Conference recently.
They became part of a group of more than 250 students, all with an interest in land-based courses and careers, who attended the event at Harper Adams University College, Shropshire, and made it the most successful to date.
Entitled 'A New Generation for Regeneration' the conference bought together representatives from universities, colleges and careers organisations across the UK to offer advice and guidance to students considering the next stepping stone toward their careers.
Aged 16 - 19, those students gathered from across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to find out more about subjects as varied as agriculture, applied biology, business management, marketing and IT, engineering, environmental management, journalism, land management, veterinary science and zoology.
Mr Andy Simpson, Head of Education at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), addressed students to officially open the conference and begin a packed two-day programme of seminars, advisory sessions and practical activities.
For many, the National Sixth Form Conference offers the first real opportunity to taste a slice of university life and Conference Organiser Richard Jopling said he was thrilled so many people had taken that chance.
He said: "Today, it is more important than ever before to aim high and to become well-qualified in a specialist field that reflects your interests. The excellent recruitment to this year's event shows that students have taken this message to heart.
"What we are talking about is a crop of bright, young talent - all of whom are keen to live and work in the countryside. I find that very encouraging."
Day one of the conference, which took place on Monday and Tuesday, July 8 and 9, 2002, gave students the opportunity to settle in, visit career stands for guidance and advice and attend subject specific seminars for detailed information on course content.
A number of lectures covering important topics such as finance were also laid on and were followed by an evening of entertainment and student fun!
Day two took a practical approach, allowing students to get a hands-on idea of what various courses and careers would involve. These sessions included animal behaviour, water quality sampling, woodland management and off road vehicle design.
The 15th annual National Sixth Form Conference will be held at Harper Adams University College, the UK's largest specialist provider of Higher Education for the land and food-based industries, in July next year.
For further information, please contact Harper Adams on +44 (0) 1952 815 000