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Walsall Care Leavers University Visit 2013

22 July 2013

On 3 July, six Walsall care leavers went to the University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Campus to find out more about the options, possibilities and costs of going to university. The event was organised in a partnership between Prospects, Walsall TLC and the university.

 Tim Grimsley, Prospects Personal Advisor to Care Leavers, at Walsall Connexions, gave us his account of the day. ‘After being welcomed by two intern graduates, the afternoon started with lunch in the café, followed by an introduction to the day and then a tour around the campus. This in itself seemed to break down barriers and misconceptions among our potential students.

We then went into a classroom where we experienced a university style activity on discrimination. The students were asked what they thought discrimination was and then watched a video, where a group of children participated in an experiment where they were discriminated against in regard to eye colour. This sparked a lot of debate and the group commented that this was a different approach to learning than they had anticipated. The expectation had been that uni would be a very strict environment.

This was followed by another video which was made by a care leaver telling his life story using comments on post-it notes. There was barely a dry eye in the room. We watched a presentation about the grants and loans available to students to give them an idea of the costs and when loans had to be paid back. This was reinforced with some games to test their knowledge, 'Million Pound Drop' style.

The potential students' comments were "helpful and informative", "more relaxed than I thought", "I like it — an inside look on uni life" and "it's answered a lot of my questions". While not all the group are currently looking to go to university they all seemed to have been inspired by the visit’.

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