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Widening Participation write up

Students performing as part of a widening participation event

Jeremy Rieder

Students taking part in a widening participation events

Jeremy Rieder

7 August 2017

This January, the second year BA Theatre and Performance Studies students presented their ‘Choreography for Theatre’ production. As part of the Widening Participation programme The Department of Theatre was pleased to welcome around fifty young people from local state schools and an FE college to watch the performance and have a question and answer session with current University of Bristol students. Participants included students from South Gloucestershire and Stroud College and members of Bristol’s Kinesis Youth Dance Company, who may wish to study at higher education level in the future.

In the question and answer sessions, participants had interesting and important questions about university life in general, as well as specific questions about studying at the University of Bristol. We discussed a wide range of financial topics including tuition fees; maintenance loans and available bursaries for which students may be eligible. In particular, we discussed the University of Bristol Bursary - more information available on their website or use the "Search for funding" tool.

We also discussed the Access to Bristol scheme. Having graduated from the scheme myself and worked on it as a student ambassador since 2015, I was keen to share information about the benefits of participating in Access to Bristol. Students who take part in Access to Bristol visit the university eight times to take part in academic sessions in one of 26 subject streams. These sessions provide an insight into university life and learning. The course is highly regarded among universities and can help to enhance UCAS applications and personal statements. Graduates of the scheme may also be eligible for the Access to Bristol Bursary and a guaranteed offer. 

Students also asked about housing prices in Bristol and locations of halls of residences. Information about the university’s halls of residence are available from the Accommodation page. We discussed the benefits of living in university housing; from independence, to nightlife to safety and security. We also explored the student community in general and talked about the University of Bristol Students’ Union and the 300+ student-led societies that they support.

After this discussion over tea, cakes and fruit, we proceeded to watch the performance. The performance sparked many interesting conversations about the use of lighting and sound; the relationship between dance and physical theatre and the different interpretations of what we had seen. The participants were enthusiastic and engaged and it was a pleasure to work with them. After the success of this event, we hope to welcome many more local students to performances in the Department of Theatre.

(Jackson, Student Ambassador and Final Year Theatre and Performance Studies Student)

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