Hundreds of young learners were recently invited to attend the launch of the Swansea Seren Hub for 2023/24, 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 250 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 Dr Emma Smith, the College’s Academic Enrichment Manager and the Swansea Seren Coordinator, the stage was handed over to Professor Simon Bott, Education Lead for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University, and Gower College Swansea Principal, Mark Jones.
Simon and Mark talked about the many benefits to young people of getting involved with the Swansea Seren Hub, from both a higher education and further education viewpoint.
Also in attendance were Dr. Matthew Williams and Megan Lee, Access and Admissions Assistant, from Jesus College, Oxford, who gave a lecture on critical thinking skills.
The learner voice also played an important role in the event, with A Level student Anna Petrusenko taking to the stage to talk about how Seren has provided her with opportunities to develop her passion for her subjects as well as supporting her in making an application to Cambridge University to read computer science.
“The Swansea Seren Hub allows for a super-curricular exploration of subjects which is vital in developing students’ academic curiosity and intellectual flexibility,” says Emma. “Our launch event is a great example of the strong working 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 Steve Minney, Head of Undergraduate Recruitment, Emily Rees, Student Recruitment Officer, both from Swansea University, and Matthew and Megan from Jesus College, Oxford.
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.