Summer school takes the mystery out of uni

Rachael Morrissey believes she chose the best way to spend her school holidays.

The Merrylands High School student was among  220 NSW year 11 students who attended the U@Uni Summer School run by The University of Technology, Sydney.

“People were like ‘why do you want to do Summer School?’ but I don’t regret my decision,’’ Rachael said.

‘‘It’s been an amazing experience.”

Another 29 students from high schools in the Parramatta built robots, started a business, investigated a crime and tried other activities during the two-week program.

Students also had the opportunity to create professional films with the university’s equipment, design lamps and fashion items, or take care of high-tech robotic ‘patients’ in a simulated hospital setting.

UTS’ director of equity and diversity, Jude Stoddart, said the program aimed to demystify university study and encourage students to take up a degree.

“Most participants come from families where neither parent holds a university degree,’’ she said.

‘‘The program hopes to give the students a taste of university life and to keep the possibility of university as an option when it comes to making decisions for their future.” Ms Stoddart said, 

A graduation ceremony was held for the summer school participants and attended by 800 guests, teachers and university representatives.

Of the students who attended last year’s summer school program, 96 per cent said it made them feel like they would fit in at university. About 91 per cent said the program had encouraged them to aspire to a degree.

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