Bright times ahead for summer school students
Published On Thu 19 Jul 2018 by Jonathan Watson
Access Summer School students from the University of Dundee are walking on sunshine after completing their path to higher education.
More than 170 attendees of the Dundee University Access to Learning (DUAL) Summer School and Online Access Summer School were honoured on Thursday after completing the six-week programme.
The initiatives provide intensive preparation and alternative routes into degree courses for students whose true academic potential is often masked by circumstance.
Course Director Dr John Blicharski said, “The students have had an exceptional summer and have impressed us throughout.
“The Access Summer Schools allow the University to prepare and qualify as many people as possible to fulfil their ambitions within all our degree programmes. We are very proud of their achievements and wish them every success.”
The programme, now in its 26th year, has been cited nationally as an example of best practice and this year over 140 students from the courses are expected to return to the University as undergraduates in September.
More than 2,000 students have taken their place on degree courses at Dundee since the launch of the Access Summer Schools in 1993, with a growing number having gone on to obtain postgraduate qualifications, including doctorates.
Watching on at Thursday’s ceremony was 2013 summer school graduate Lyndsey MacGilp, a mentor to some of this year’s students who will begin her career as a secondary school teacher next month.
“I was offered a place at Summer School because I didn’t have the grades originally to qualify for my course,” she said.
“One of my family members had been ill and that had impacted up on my exam marks at school, but Summer School gave me a huge confidence boost and an initial taste of university that really helped me.
“I graduated from Summer School in 2013, which got me into my English degree here, and after graduating with honours I then went on to do my PGDE.
“Without the Access Summer School I doubt I would have qualified as a teacher by this time, but now I am just a few weeks from starting my career.”
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