AccessHE delivered four events in conjunction with the London Careers Festival, 29-3 July. Hosted on YouTube, this series of live events equipped learners with the relevant information and skills to start thinking about pathways into the workplace through Higher Education. Over four hour-long sessions, students had the opportunity to hear directly from universities and current students; improve their written and oral communication skills; hone their own subject expertise; and develop an understanding of career pathways. Throughout each session, student participants had the opportunity to submit their own anonymous questions through menti.com which were answered by outreach professionals and current students.
The week-long program began with a workshop led by Sanah Kabir, a student recruitment officer from the University of Law, who explored the roles of lawyers, the Police, criminologists, and other associated professions in the criminal justice system to give students direction in their HE choices.
On Tuesday, we were joined by Jenny from the Speakers Trust who taught students the skills and techniques required to become a successful communicator in life. Using a selection of videos, the workshop highlighted best practice and took questions from students eager to become a more confident and engaging public speaker.
Our penultimate session featured a workshop and extended Q+A with Jack and Jake from Middlesex University, who helped students think about how to choose the right University. Jack and Jake took questions on coronavirus, the difference between campus and non-campus universities, the admissions process, student finance, and alternative courses amongst many other subjects.
Finally, our session on Friday featured inputs from our new Student Advocates in conversation with our own Michelle Anson. Four advocates from across the AccessHE membership provided real-time answers to live questions. The session touched upon all facets of student life: the application process, what to study, where to study, and how to strike the balance between academic and social life at university. A special thank you goes to our wonderful student advocates: Emma, Jannat, Amar, and David.
Over the five days of events, AccessHE live engaged with over 300 students from 16 boroughs across London and answered approximately 100 live questions. The event showed the resilience of HE Outreach despite Covid-19 restrictions and proven the necessity for collaboration and ingenuity in a rapidly evolving HE landscape. Moving forward, the London Careers Festival represents a blueprint for future online outreach at AccessHE: a platform which is accessible, interactive, and safeguarded.