On Saturday 16th October 2021, NCH welcomed the highly impressive participants of our three Summer School programmes and our Mentoring programme to our brand-new campus in St Katharine Docks for a day of celebration, complete with their graduation ceremony. Students and their accompanying visitors came from all over the country, as well as some from overseas. The four programmes were: Sustainability, Technology and the Future; Culture, Crisis & the City; Law Summer School and the Law Mentorship programme. Each programme was aimed at students interested in specific disciplines, allowing students to experience the interdisciplinary and multifaceted nature of learning at NCH.
The day began by welcoming the graduates and their visitors/family members with refreshments and a quick introduction from student ambassadors and staff. Students were able to network and engage with staff and the ambassadors and in doing so, learnt about NCH, enquired about what it’s really like to apply to university and conversed about their subject interests. As a student ambassador, it was a highly rewarding experience to speak to students who are so passionate about their subjects, and to see them network with other students in a similar position to themselves.
The summer schools were then split into two groups and attended a LinkedIn and Personal Branding workshop run by two of our senior ambassadors, Mia and Libby, and a Personal Statement workshop, led by Head of Admissions, Mollie. These workshops, specifically tailored to the participants, aimed to give students an insight into what cannot be taught though academia, but is essential for moving into university life. These sessions also introduced students to NCH’s LAUNCH programme, which aids students with improving their employability prospects, ensuring a familiarity like no other with the working world. During the break for lunch, students and visitors were given the opportunity to tour our campus: tours were led by staff and student ambassadors, giving visitors the chance to get a student perspective of our brand-new, sustainable campus.
The students were then able to attend a Subject Insights session led by our student ambassadors. Sessions were run for the major subjects offered at NCH: Art History, Economics, English, History, Law, Philosophy, and Politics. We provided the students with essential information about applying for and studying these subjects at university in general, as well as how they are taught at NCH, and what they can expect a typical day-in-the-life to look like as a university student. During this time, parents who accompanied students were able to attend a parent session where staff provided useful information about how to support students through the university application process.
Arguably the most exciting part of the day came when the students officially graduated from their programmes. The students were called up individually and received celebratory gifts plus their commending certificates. It was a time of celebration and appreciation of the upcoming minds of our generation; it was truly inspiring to see so much raw talent and intelligence gathered in one building. The NCH faculty members who ran the Summer Schools and engaged with the students emphasised in their speeches how impressive the students were and commended them for their contributions to the programmes.
Rounding off the celebration, students were treated to drinks and canapés, with a final round of networking. They were also able to speak with the faculty members who had led their summer schools. Overall, the day was a great experience for all involved, giving the graduates the opportunity to learn about general university applications, what it is like to be a student at NCH, meeting friends they had made through the virtual programmes, and being celebrated for their achievements.