HeppSY+ Conference Makes a Big Impression on South Yorkshire Students

Friday 23rd March 2018

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students from two schools and one college in South Yorkshire came together on Wednesday 7th March to explore their higher education opportunities.

Over 60 students from Parkwood Academy, Firth Park Academy and Longley Park Sixth Form College attended a jam-packed day of activity at Sheffield Hallam University. The conference was arranged by HeppSY+ to showcase partnership opportunities in higher education to a group of students who had been identified as most at risk of missing out. Students enjoyed motivational speakers as well as hands on workshops.

The day was opened with a welcome from Hepp Director Mike Garnock-Jones, before motivational speaker Andrew Muhammed took to the stage to discuss his experiences and achievements in a dynamic, attention-capturing presentation.

Andrew Muhammed delivering presentation

Picture credit: Shaun Flannery


The students then took part in three workshops:

  • Let’s Talk about Dosh – Student Finance and Budgeting, delivered by the University of Sheffield. The session was an introduction to student finance including fees, loans, bursaries and scholarships, with top tips on how to budget and what costs to expect at university.
  • University Life – Learn Life Balance, delivered by Sheffield Hallam University and two BAME undergraduate students. During the session two current students talked about their higher education experiences, covering student life, societies, independent living, course work and exams, pastoral support and making new friends.
  • Your Higher Education Future, delivered by HeppSY+. This session explored the benefits of higher education, the range of courses available, degree apprenticeships, UCAS and how to apply, labour market information and graduate prospects.

Picture credit: Shaun Flannery

The day closed with an interactive presentation from PUSH Talks, ‘Why go to uni? And what do you love?’, where students explored how going into higher education could enable them to pursue their passions.

Commenting on the event, Higher Education Engagement Assistant at Parkwood Academy, Charlotte Bromley, said: ‘What a fantastic event. My students from Parkwood are still talking so positively about the event and how much they enjoyed themselves days after. They’re already asking when the next one will be. I believe it will be one they will remember for a long time!’

Sabiyah Rafiq from Firth Park Academy said: ‘The event greatly encouraged and motivated the students and having spoken to them, they all came away from it having learnt something new. Parent feedback has been great also. I’m looking forward to continuing this work.’

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