- The U@Uni summer school program is an opportunity for high school students from low-socioeconomic status (SES) to discover university life, and to build confidence and aspiration to pursue their tertiary studies.
- 34 Year 11 students participated in the Health summer school workshops and experienced what it’s like to work in the healthcare environment from plastering a ‘broken limb’, to delivering a baby and performing resuscitation scenarios.
Hosted each January at UTS since 2009, the U@Uni Summer School program encourages high school students from low-SES schools to explore their tertiary options.
34 Year 11 students participated in the Health summer school workshops this year, learning how to suture a wound, attend to high-tech robotic ‘patients’, plaster a ‘broken’ limb, deliver a baby and perform resuscitation scenarios. The aim is to allow students to discover university life and to build confidence and aspiration.
Amanda Rehayem (UTS BMid Hons graduate) has been the Coordinator of the Health program for the last three years, having worked as a student mentor in the health workshops for two years. She says the dedication the students show to their work is mind-blowing.
“My favourite part of the summer school is how we come away inspired by the students as much as we’ve inspired them. Towards their graduation you grow a bond with them, but you also see how much they’ve changed.
“For them to come up and say, ‘I want to become a paramedic, I want to become a midwife’… that really sits close to my heart when I see them change like that.”
The program, which culminated with a graduation ceremony for family and friends, is an opportunity for students to discover that tertiary education is within reach. Half of this year’s participants come from a non-English speaking background, while 24 per cent identify as having a refugee background. 66 per cent would also be the first in family to attend university.
Programs like Summer School contribute to UTS’s aim to increase the number of commencing domestic undergraduate students from a low-SES background, with numbers up by 40 per cent over 2011-2015.
Data collection following last year’s Summer School shows 98 per cent of participants felt encouraged to pursue higher education following the on-campus experience.
Thank you to our UTS:Health staff, students and alumni who played a part in engaging the students on campus.
Find out about Undergraduate Health courses at UTS