School children from across Glasgow were ‘gowned up’ for the first graduation ceremony of the University of Strathclyde’s Young Strathclyder programme.
The Young Strathclyder programme is in its pilot year and replaces the University’s previous involvement in the Children’s University initiative.
More than 300 pupils from Annette Street Primary, Cuthbertson Primary, Dunard Primary, Glendale Primary, Oakwood Primary, St Benedict's Primary, St Patrick's Primary, St Rose of Lima Primary – and their parents, carers and teachers – attended the ceremony at the University’s Barony Hall, wearing gowns and mortarboards, where they received their certificates of achievement from the Principal & Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Jim McDonald.
Pupils from Chirnsyde Primary and St Timothy’s Primary also participated in the programme but were unable to attend the graduation ceremony due to other commitments.
A total of 404 Primary 6 pupils and 417 Primary 7 pupils had taken part in a full day of engaging and interactive activities, either on campus or at school, representing the focus of our University’s four Faculties of Engineering, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Strathclyde Business School.
Sense of belonging
Staff from across the Faculties worked together with the University’s Access, Equality & Inclusion service to design the interactive activities while third-year Business School students, participating in the Management Development Programme’s Social Responsibility Pathway, worked on the branding for the programme and designed business activities for pupils to complete.
Pupils were led through these activities by 87 student mentors representing each Faculty, many of whom come from widening access backgrounds and have been the first in their family to go to university.
Sir Jim said: “Our Young Strathclyder programme is aimed at helping young people – and their parents and carers – build a real sense of belonging and confidence within a Higher Education setting and to maintain a focus on their post-school goals by providing advice and guidance on subject choices and career opportunities.
“It was a hugely enjoyable event and, as a socially-progressive institution committed to playing a key role in our local community, I look forward to these young people continuing to engage with Strathclyde over the coming years.”
There are three main phases to the Young Strathclyder programme:
- Young Strathclyder Primary
- Young Strathclyder S2
- Young Strathclyder Accelerate for S5 & S6
In S2, pupils will have the chance to find out more about areas of study that they are interested in as they begin to think more about the types of jobs they would like to do when they are older.
In S5 and S6, pupils will have the opportunity to participate in Young Strathclyder Accelerate, a week-long summer programme on campus focusing on the particular academic area they are interested in going on to study at university.
There are seven subject-specific challenges on this year’s Accelerate programme, expanding to 10 subject areas next year. A range of other online and remote activities will be offered to pupils as they progress through school, including activities based on Sport, Sustainability & Entrepreneurship.
Next year, the Young Strathclyder programme will grow to include 15 primary schools, and 8 high schools will join the new S2 programme.
Aileen Wilson, Senior Engagement and Outreach Officer at Strathclyde who leads the primary school element of the Young Strathclyder programme, said: “This first year of the programme has been a huge success and we’ve been delighted to see so many schools and pupils take part. We very much look forward to growing the Young Strathclyder programme further and raising the education aspirations of future generations of children.”