On Friday 6th October, Suella Braverman MP hosted her annual Fareham Universities Conference at Fareham College.
Over a hundred Year 11 pupils from five local schools attended the conference to learn key information about how to go to university, how to choose a university and how to succeed in gaining a place at one of the UK’s top educational institutions.
Suella hosts this event as part of her commitment to ensuring that young people in Fareham get the best start possible in life and reflects her view that every child, regardless of background, should have equality of opportunity when it comes to a university education.
To help break down some of the common myths and barriers holding young people back from applying to university, Suella shared her experiences growing up and explained that applying to university was initially something that she thought was not possible for someone in her situation. However, having spoken with admissions tutors and learning more about the application process, it became clear that a university education was an attainable opportunity for her and everyone else.
The first of three presentations, “Choosing A Levels, Choosing a University Subject, University Life and the Benefits of a University Education”, was given by Mr Szymon Sawicki, undergraduate at University of Cambridge, Christ’s College. This was followed by a presentation on “The Admissions Process and How to Write Personal Statements”, by Jason Singh, undergraduate at the University of Cambridge, St. Edmund’s College.
The final presentation was given by Ms Lucinda Rumsey MBE, Senior Tutor at University of Oxford, Mansfield College, who was able to share a unique and detailed overview of all there is to know about an Oxbridge education and the admissions process. This helped the students become acquainted with the collegiate system and dispelled many misunderstandings about the demographics of the two historic universities. Students were surprised to learn about the financial support, bursaries and programmes that are available, meaning that no one should ever be deterred from applying due to financial concerns.
Suella was pleased to see a high level of engagement between the students and speakers. Lengthy Q&A sessions further helped to uncover all there is to know about a university education.
Having successfully hosted the Fareham Universities Conference for a third year in row, Suella is confident that this event is useful and inspirational for youngsters in Fareham and looks forward to hosting the event again next year.
Commenting, Miss Waters, Head of Personal Development Learning at Fareham Academy, said:
“The annual universities conference allowed our students to feel important and invested in by not only being able to meet and talk to the Rt Hon Suella Braverman in person about her own journey to university; but also by hearing from Oxbridge representatives about how they can best prepare themselves to continue with their high aspirations when looking ahead towards their university applications.”
Commenting, a parent of a school pupil at the conference said:
“I just wanted to say thank you for arranging the Uni conference today. [Conference Attendee] has come back very inspired and has her heart set on applying to Oxford. It is great to see the school encouraging able students to reach their full potential.”
Commenting, Suella said:
“It’s incredibly important that every young person in Fareham is aware of the very real opportunities that are available to each and every one of them. When I was their age, I was completely in the dark about what possibilities were out there for someone like me. However, after speaking with admissions tutors, I soon began to realise that, just like anyone else, a university education at one of the UK’s top institutions was an opportunity that was available to me.
“I host this conference because I’m determined to make sure that all young people have access to the opportunities that are out there for them, no matter what situation they may be in. It’s about ensuring young people in Fareham get the opportunities they deserve.
“Thank you to the staff at Fareham College for all their help in hosting the conference and to our three speakers, Jason, Szymon and Lucinda, for their inspiring presentations and sound advice. I look forward to hosting the Fareham Universities Conference again next year for the fourth time.”