Students inspired to aim for top universities

Updated 17/10/2022

Hundreds of young learners were recently invited to attend the launch of the Swansea Seren Hub for 2022/23, where they were able to find out more about the skills needed to apply to the UK’s top universities.

The event, led by Gower College Swansea and Swansea University, was held at the Great Hall on the University’s Bay Campus. It was attended by around 350 students from the College and local sixth form schools, many of whom were joined by their parents and guardians.

After an introductory welcome given by Swansea Seren Coordinator Fiona Beresford and Principal Mark Jones, they were joined by Professor Simon Bott, Education Lead for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, who talked about the University’s work with Seren and the many benefits to young people of getting involved.

Also in attendance was Dr. Matthew Williams, Access Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford, who gave a lecture on critical thinking skills.

“Being part of the Swansea Seren Hub gives students the confidence to explore their subjects outside of the curriculum,” says Fiona. “This super-curricular exploration is vital in developing their academic curiosity and intellectual flexibility.

“This launch event is a great example of the partnership which exists between the College, the University, and the seven Swansea schools – a collaboration which aims to widen the participation of young people who aspire to apply to top higher education institutions.”

After the talks, students were invited into breakout areas where - led by Swansea University academics - they took part in taster masterclasses. Parents and guardians were also able to take part in a Q&A with Fiona and Dr. Williams.

Seren is a Welsh Government initiative dedicated to helping Wales’ brightest learners achieve their full academic potential in the UK and overseas. 

Available to all academically able learners in Year 12 and Year 13, the Seren Academy offers interactive sessions and unique study experiences to help students make informed decisions about applying to leading universities. This includes advice and guidance workshops from Oxford and Cambridge admissions tutors, university admissions preparations sessions, access to subject masterclasses led by university academics, and summer school opportunities at Oxford and Yale.  

L-R: Dr. Matthew Williams, Prof. Simon Bott, Skye Roberts, Mark Jones, Anna Petrusenko, Jonathan Rogers, Fiona Beresford