16 learners from the College of North East London (CONEL) tried University life for size when they took part in week long summer courses at Middlesex University recently.

They had the chance to study (in groups with students from schools and colleges across London) a wide variety of subjects including Business Studies, Java Programming, Art & Design, Computer Aided Product Design, Multi-media, Health & Human Sciences, Media & Culture Studies, Psychology and Sport & Exercise.

These taster courses were not only designed to encourage learners to enrol at Middlesex but to give them an idea of what it would be like to go into Higher Education anywhere in the country.

Verral Paul-Warcott, from Tottenham, currently studying on the Advanced Vocational Certificate in Education (AVCE) in Art & Design at CONEL found the week illuminating I wanted to find out what University life was like and I realise now that study is structured in a very different way from school or college. At Uni you are given the work and then you have to plan how to do it yourself. He was one of five CONEL learners who took part in the Art & Design week. His favourite exercise was one where each student was given a stamp-sized section of an unknown picture that they had to reproduce in A1 format. Each large painting was then pieced together according to codes on the back of the original pieces so that they made up a huge picture (shown in the attached photograph).

Verral now has plans to apply to do an Art Foundation course at the Central St. Martins College of Art & Design in central London after he finishes his AVCE. This sort of aspiration is exactly what the college tutors hope for, as Kaytea Budd-Brophy the Aim Higher Co-ordinator at CONEL explains Aim Higher organises these opportunities so that learners can experience first hand what it is like to go to University. When they have seen, felt, heard and touched it for themselves it helps to dispel the fear that Higher Education is only for the elite. Its important our students know that they have the capabilities to go to University and that the lecturers are real people they can talk to.

Stephen Twigg, MP Enfield and Southgate and a former lecturer at Middlesex University, came along to see the traditional Summer School show; a series of presentations made by each group to show what they had learnt and made during the 5 day courses. He was presented with one of the colourful Computer Aided Product Design finished pieces and made a short speech underlining his support for these educational programmes and his former employer.

Notes to editors:

1) To find out more about studying the AVCE in Art & Design at CONEL, and many other courses, please go to www.conel.ac.uk or call the college information hotline on 020 8442 3055.
2) For more information on courses available at Middlesex University, including Summer School, please go to www.mdx.ac.uk

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