40 Fife College Students from Pathways Programmes and HNC Social Sciences at Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy attended a trip to St Andrews University recently.
Funded by St Andrews University, who provided transport and lunch, students were accompanied by tutors Rosemary Richey and Ed Blades.
The students were met by Paul Gardner (Senior Lecturer: School of Psychology and Neuroscience) and Joanna Fry (Education Liaison Officer: Lifelong Learning) who also introduced three students ambassadors who acted as guides for the morning tour.
The students split into groups and completed a two hour tour of St Andrews which took in the Castle and the Cathedral as well as the buildings around the town which form part of the St Andrews campus.
After a break for lunch, the students returned to St Marys Quad and then went to the Psychology Department to experience a short lecture.
Students then had the opportunity to test their memory and to look at techniques to help them improve their skills. Overall the students did well when their scores were compared with those of a group of St Andrews academics.
The final sessions gave the visiting students the chance to ask questions to university students, all of whom had taken the college route and then used one of the St Andrews Pathways programmes to gain a place on their degree course. This gave students an insight into the determination of the degree students who are commuting and studying as well as most undertaking caring responsibilities and working multiple part-time jobs.
Rosemary, who organised the trip, said “Every year our students get so much out of their trip to St Andrews. For many it is the first university they have visited. It really helps them to see that a university visit, something that they previously may have seen as daunting, is something they are perfectly able to cope with.
The students get to meet current St Andrews students, they have a tour of the university and lunch at the Students’ Union. They then attend a university lecture and chat to a university lecturer. How many boxes ticked is that! It was particularly beneficial this year to meet other students who have come to university through the Further Education route.”
Student Sonia MacPhee from the level 6 Pathways Programme said: “The trip really helped to remind me of what I'm trying to achieve and has been beneficial in giving me a boost of motivation to continue working hard. I had a really lovely day and enjoyed it all.”
Following up on the event with his students, Ed Blades said: “Chatting to the students in tutor time, what became clear was that they left the event feeling that St Andrews University is destination that is open to them. Several had thought that St Andrews was 'not for the likes of them' but after seeing round, meeting Paul and especially the current students (who had all come through the FE route) they all felt that St Andrews University is an option that they will consider, and some of the students have already started planning their applications for September 2021.”
For more information about pathways programme and social science courses visit our course pages.