University of Western Australia: Camp inspires students from diverse backgrounds to pursue further study

More than 100 Year 9 students from 23 schools across the North West are attending a week-long camp at The University of Western Australia as a part of the nationally recognised, award-winning program Aspire UWA.

Aspire UWA works with 73 partner schools and communities in regional WA and Perth and encourages students who would not normally consider university to see the benefits and opportunities further study offers.

Pupils from the Mid-West, Gascoyne, Kimberley and Pilbara regions are attending the camp which aims to raise aspirations for tertiary studies for students from diverse backgrounds and locations, where there is often lack of transition to further studies after completing year 12.

Students participate in hands on interactive activities across a range of disciplines at the UWA campus and stay at a UWA residential college to experience life as a university student.

Students will visit Scitech and Boola Bardip (WA Museum), participate in team and confidence building activities and also experience a bit of “city life”.

Pupils are mentored during the camps by current UWA students from various Aspire UWA schools, some of whom previously attended the camp themselves while in high school.

Aspire UWA School Partnerships Coordinator Sasha Peppinck said the camp provided a valuable opportunity for regional students to immerse themselves in university student life and sample a range of different course areas.

“This gives them the context of university, the experience of student life and the ability to explore potential future career choices before deciding on pathways in their senior school years,” Ms Peppinck said.

Aspire UWA has been running annual Year 9 camps for Pilbara students since 2009, and for Kimberley and Mid-West students since 2012 and to date more than 2000 students have participated.

The camp runs from today to Friday 3 December. Suggested times for media who would like to attend are Tuesday 30 November 8.30 – 11.00am or Wednesday 1 December 9.30am-12.30pm.