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Brunel University Visit

posted 28 Mar 2014, 04:57 by Jessica McGriskin   [ updated 23 May 2014, 06:30 ]

Do you remember the spectacular opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics? I am sure you cannot forget the colours, technical engineering and dynamic display reminding us of the creativity and major engineering developments of Isambard Brunel.

On Monday 3rd March, Miss Hunt Careers Co-ordinator/Work experience  Co-ordinator, took to the wheel with her newly acquired mini-bus drivers licence and supported me in taking 13 enthusiastic Year 11 students to visit Brunel University; the home of where Isambard Brunel’s Statue stands in the main entrance of the University building. It was a treat to stand beside his statue to admire the man who inspired the opening of the 2012 Olympics.

This visit was inspired by the discussions that took place in the career interviews I conduct within the school in my role as Careers Adviser with Enfield Careers Service A recurring question came from the students I interviewed who are now in an instrumental turning point in their lives where they have to make major     decisions about their post 16 choices and beyond.

The recurring question; what is University? This may seem a simple but it actually became quite complex as I started to think more deeply about what it really was and not the quick answer I have to give in my 30 minute interviews that it is a place of study after you complete a Level 3 l. University is more than this. The visit to Brunel University of 2 ½ hours allowed us to experience  University, it proved it was more than gaining a Level 3 qualification.

We were greeted by the host Dr Beverley Crooks Widening Participation Officer who introduced the plan for the visit. We were presented with a motivation talk by Bola from the FIX UP Team; one of the important things he said was “when you apply yourself you surprise yourself”.

We were treated to a meal in the canteen followed by a tour of the University visiting the students in the Halls of Residence where many young people are living for the first time independently of their parents; learning to cook, wash their clothes, budget for living on a Student loan and learning to share a living space with up to 9 other students who most would have met for the first time on joining University.

We visited the Sports Centre which as a range of activities including Rock Climbing; even Usain Bolt as well as Londoner and Olympic winner Linford Christie have graced the athletic tracks at Brunel. We entered the vast library space which is probably five times the size of the school library with floors to cover with books, journals, CD’s and other research materials to assist students with diverse and varied courses from Engineering to Sports Studies.

University is not only about Study it is recreation , we visited the Arts Centre that offers activities such as creative writing, choir singing, pottery, debate groups to provide students with release from the major demands of study at University level.

We heard from 3 Student Ambassadors who spent the day with us and shared their experience of University one had come from Leeds to do the BSc Sports Studies Programme another was on a 4 year Sandwich course in BA Law and the other on B.A Business. What was clear from their presentations was the different routes into University some taking A Level Academic Subjects and others the BTEC Vocational entry. You can enter University from different routes this was clearly evident from the presentations from the Student Ambassadors.

We left taking with us much information about University. I believe it answered some questions for us.

Can you answer these questions?
What is a Sandwich Degree?
Name two Universities in the Russell Group?
How many years does it take to complete a University Degree?
If you want to know more about University visit

Thank you for the Year 11 pupils who joined us on the trip to Brunel. I hope you will share your experience with your peers, parents and anyone you think would benefit from learning more about what University is.


Lavern Buchanan-Sy
Careers Adviser