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St Cecilia’s College, in conjunction with Ulster University’s School Outreach Academy have helped to co-design a new innovative ‘Prepping for Uni’ Course. St Cecilia’s pupils took part in a focus group sharing their insights on how best to support Year 13 & 14 pupils across to Higher Education, harnessing expectations, motivations, readiness and vision of what University Life may be like for new students.

The course gives students practical information and tips on the application process, as well preparing students for the independence that comes with university life. The course will widen access, in supporting the education decisions of those who are less likely to progress or apply to university. The project was part of wider collaboration and engagement by Ulster University with all schools in the Foyle Learning Community and Donegal.

Malachy Ó Néill Provost of the Magee Campus said:

“This is just another example of how we are committed to working with the principals of the schools in the Foyle Learning Community, providing opportunities for the young people of the city region and supporting teachers. I hope that the course helps the young people of the entire region with their transition to university life. Anyone thinking of going to university should consider their options at Ulster University. Magee campus is a great place to learn, with consistently sector-leading returns in terms of student satisfaction. There are a wide variety of courses available to choose from with new options this year, including Paramedic Science. This will be further boosted by new course options in Health Sciences and related professions from 2022. Local students can be assured of a world-class education in state-of-the-art facilities that continue to develop at Magee.”

Lorraine Lavery-Bowen, School Partnerships Manager – Widening Access at Ulster University said:

“The course is aimed to support students who are anxious about qualification outcomes and the processes for gaining university entry. We could never have expected the changes that we are now living with. The increase in eLearning since the outbreak of COVID-19 and move to remote learning has mirrored the need within schools for support to be provided in a digital format. The recent launch of the Ulster University Schools Outreach Academy will allow us to offer a full online approach to school engagement and service delivery. We were delighted to work with Year 13 pupils from St Cecilia’s, who were able to give us real and honest insights on their expectations around university selections. With so many decisions to be made by our Year 13 & 14's we hope this resource will support informed decision making.”

Martine Mulhern Principal of St Cecilia’s College said:

“Our 6th year girls were really delighted to have the opportunity to meet with staff from Ulster University. They discussed ways in which schools and the University could work in partnership to make the transition from school to university much smoother. They are hopeful that the students following behind them will benefit from this partnership.”