University Of Western Australia Hosts Fairway Summer School Students
A record number of pupils from regional areas were among 50 year 12 students who stayed cool and productive as part of a four-day visit to The University of Western Australia for the Fairway Summer School experience last month.
“Coming from a rural area, I love going on camps because there are so many amazing people you get to meet and so many new experiences to be had.”
Amelia Jensen, 2023 Fairway Summer School student
Within UWA’s Student Equity team, the Fairway UWA program focuses on providing academic and social support to students facing financial challenges and other disruptions to their high school education.
The event in January saw students, including 10 from regional WA, participate in study skills and academic activities on campus and experience three nights in UWA’s residential college Uni Hall.
Year 12 student Amelia Jensen, from Champion Bay Senior High School in Geraldton, described her experience as amazing, in particular the opportunity to meet other people and learn about different areas of study.
“Coming from a rural area, I love going on camps because there are so many amazing people you get to meet and so many new experiences to be had,” Amelia said.
“The facilitators and ambassadors were beyond helpful in answering whatever questions we had about uni life or what to study. Everyone was eager to help, and it made the experience so much more enjoyable.”
Participants enjoyed presentations from the Future Students and Medicine and Dentistry teams, and activities run by providers such as Blackstone Law Society, UWA Aerospace and UWA Psychological Sciences. In the evenings, social events such as Speed Networking and a Quiz Night were a hit.
For Amelia, who admitted she often struggles to grasp new subjects, the most helpful sessions were WACE revision on subjects such as English and maths.
“Getting an early introduction prior to learning about the subjects will help me understand the concepts better when we start them in class and we were provided with some valuable information about exams and how to prepare,” she said.
Through paid work opportunities, Fairway student ambassadors, many who are graduates of the program, provided leadership and mentoring as they shared their own experiences of university life.
“As a country kid, moving to a big city with new people and a new environment is scary, but knowing the people I have met through the program and the support that is available brings me comfort when I think about leaving home to pursue further study in an unknown environment,” Amelia said.
Students in the Fairway program will be reunited later in the year at further events held at UWA in between school terms, with an additional focus on preparing them for life beyond high school.
“The summer school experience showed me areas of study I might not have been considering before or didn’t even know were available, and it has really helped me,” Amelia said.
“For example, I didn’t know I could study human rights and linguistics; however, this is an area I am now extremely interested in.”
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