Summer of outreach at UCL

8 May 2012

This summer, UCL Outreach has a broad range of activities planned in order to engage with young people across the country. The aim is to inspire and support students as well as to foster a genuine interest in university life and study.

Students engaging in Outreach activities

The Outreach Office at UCL offers a comprehensive programme of inclusive activities and assistance for schools and colleges. It leads on the development and implementation of UCL’s UK undergraduate recruitment strategies, with particular emphasis on widening participation from students and young people from under-represented groups.

The Outreach Office includes The Transition Programme, which delivers activities to engage current UCL students, as well as a variety of projects to support aspiration and academic skills development for prospective students.

A Universities Day in June will bring in over one hundred year 12 students from various schools in London to visit UCL’s collections, participate in master-classes and develop their Extended Projects. Another project, Unilink, supports academically gifted year 12 students in applying to top universities and Aspire works to co-ordinate aspiration and academic development with a partner college.

On 26 June, high achieving year 9 students chosen by their schools will be rewarded with a visit to UCL as part of a wider Government initiative. The theme for the day is ‘Exploring Science and Engineering’ and UCL will be hosting 75 students and teachers.

In July, a Target Medicine Summer School will run for year 11 students. The summer school aims to give students the confidence to pursue a career in medicine, put students in touch with like-minded peers and offer them an insight into life as a medical student.

Also running in July is a new Language and Study Skills residential summer school aimed at years 12 and 13 students who do not have a GCSE grade C or above in a language.

In partnership with the Sutton Trust, UCL is running a residential summer school focusing on biosciences. This will be for 40 students from 20-24 August. Holding residential summer schools enables UCL to interact with students not limited to the London area.

All this amazing work would not be possible without the continued support and commitment that we receive from UCL staff and students who get involved in all these projects.

Katy Redfern, Associate Head of Outreach and Admissions


UCL Horizons is a long-term outreach programme for young people who attend non-selective state secondary schools in inner London. It aims to raise students' academic achievement at GCSE and A level, as well as raise students' higher education and career aspirations.

The UCL Horizons Summer Challenge begins on 6 June and involves year 12 students attending a course once a week after school, for 6 weeks. 60-90 students will be involved, and they will have a choice of 6 engaging courses.

UCL Horizons also runs a Debating Summer School, engaging year 10 students in themed debates; this year’s theme is politics. This is the third year this summer school has run, this year it is from 23 – 26 July.

UCL Open Day

In addition to summer schools – of which the above are just a few -  Outreach also organises the UCL Open Day. This event aims to allow prospective students a real insight into London, UCL and their subject interest. This year the event will be on 4 July, and places must be booked in advance.

This multitude of events is not unusual; the UCL Outreach team is busy engaging with students, staff and schools all year round. Support to schools and colleges is offered in various ways, such as UCL students taking part in tutoring and mentoring, Higher Education Awareness Days, talks regarding advice on UCAS procedure and student finance and museums and collections learning programmes.

Katy Redfern, Associate Head of Outreach and Admissions, explained: “All this amazing work would not be possible without the continued support and commitment that we receive from UCL staff and students who get involved in all these great projects. If staff or students want to get involved, or have ideas for possible new outreach activities, it would be great if they could get in touch.”


Related links:

UCL Outreach