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Local Secondary School students enjoy first university experience at Royal Holloway.

Local Secondary School students enjoy first university experience at Royal Holloway.

  • Date26 April 2024

Earlier this month, several students from a variety of backgrounds engaged in Spring Residentials at Royal Holloway, University of London, getting to experience what life as a university student is like.


The students, from Years 10 and 11 at twenty-two local schools, enjoyed subject taster sessions for a range of subjects. Students who attended were from schools in at least five counties, including Surrey, Essex and Sussex.

The schoolchildren also took part in social activities on the University’s Egham campus. These included a quiz night and a Murder Mystery Dinner, which was written and performed by Media Arts & Drama Student, Owen Simmonds-Wood.

Students also worked in groups to create unique pitches for a Student Life app, presented in a Dragons’ Den-style session on the final day with Dr Derrick Chong, Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway, and Student Ambassadors from the School of Business & Management.

Sessions were organised by the Widening Access team at Royal Holloway and the Higher Education Outreach Network (of which Royal Holloway is a partner institution).

The Widening Access team aims to ensure that prospective students of all social and economic backgrounds can see themselves becoming a university student.

Other partners that delivered sessions included the University for Creative Arts and the University of Law.

Jonathan Baldwin, Royal Holloway’s Higher Education Outreach Network (HEON) Partner Officer and Event lead for the Spring Residentials said: “It was a pleasure to host students from a wide variety of backgrounds, and help to open up their minds to the many pathways in education and training that lie before them.

“Students are too often funnelled down traditional and well-known routes in our education system without knowing the diverse range of option available to them, and our Spring Residential is designed to challenge just that. The whole Widening Access team, with the support of colleagues from HEON, worked so hard to ensure this flagship event of ours was a success, and the feedback from students, parents and teachers is showing that the effort was worth it.

“It was our privilege to have – for the first time in the history of our residentials – the Vice Chancellor and Principal speak at our closing ceremony and hand each student their graduation certificate.”

Professor Julie Sanders, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Royal Holloway added: “It was an absolute privilege to be involved with this year’s Spring Residential.”

“So much of the great work being done at Royal Holloway is focused on making our University a welcoming environment for new and prospective students. Events like this help many of these future university students begin to see themselves in higher education and we all hope that is a truly transformative experience.”

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