Latest News | 25 February 2021

YMCA’s university link-up boosts students

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YMCA Derbyshire is working with the University of Derby to help give its young people more confidence when applying for a place.

The partnership has seen Youth and Community Development university students offer YMCA Derbyshire’s Key College students an insight into university life, encouraging them to move into higher education after they finish their college courses.

Three sessions are held online with young people from YMCA Key College where they are encouraged to discuss their thoughts about university.

To help the young people feel less intimidated, these sessions are activity and games-based, with opportunities to ask questions and get application tips.

Sophie Taylor, who studies hospitality and catering at YMCA Key College, said: “I really enjoyed the fact that we were given lots of information about how we could get into the University of Derby and what support would be there if we were to apply. It made me more confident about the future.”

Moving forward, the project will continue in September, when YMCA Key College will offer more of its students the opportunity to join in.

Eventually, when Covid restrictions are lifted, they will have the chance to visit the university and get an even better glimpse into life there.

University of Derby programme leader, Simon Williams, said: “Having young people join part of one of our modules gives our students a more immersive learning experience.

“It also demonstrates the reality of practice life and enables our students to be fully equipped to engage with youth in the future.”

Julia Hodder, head of training and education at YMCA Key College, said: “Before working directly with university students, some of our young people doubted that going on to further education was an opportunity for them.

“They have now built a confidence and belief in their own ability to work towards a university place.”

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