Bega Valley kids get early taste of uni

KIDS around the Bega Valley are already learning about getting into university. 

The Kids In2Uni Program aims to provide students, their parents and their teachers with a positive connection with the University of Wollongong and to “taste” university life.

On Wednesday, there were 125 Year 5 and 6 pupils from the public schools of Tanja, Candelo and Merimbula who attended the program at the Bega UOW campus.

Bermagui, Eden and Quaama Public School pupils visited the campus on Thursday.

Pupils had the opportunity to participate in two different taster sessions run by UOW academics, learnt about the social side of university life and explored the campus.

They met mentors, took part in games and talked about career pathways.

It is the second year the Kids In2Uni program has run in at the Bega UOW Campus, and campus manager Samantha Avitaia said the children enjoy the experience. 

“They always have a good time,” she said.  

In the lead up to the program, teachers delivered a unit of work in their classrooms about making career decisions and the pupils had visits by university students who attended their school in the past. 

“It’s going to be an eye opener for them, to see what possibilities they have in the future,” Merimbula School parent Rebecca Abbott said.

Ms Abbott said while it was good for the pupils to see what options they had for uni, they would have benefitted more from a greater variety of faculties to engage with. 

Merimbula School teacher Eva Mutch said a lot of pupils thought they need to be really intelligent to go to uni, but the day would hopefully show them it was more about putting the effort in and doing the work to get there.

“The perception they have of university at the moment probably isn’t reality,” Ms Mutch said. 

“It’s good for them to realise how many choices they have down the track.”

Merimbula Year 6 pupils Jonty Dwyer, Mercedes Kellalea and Ella Cooper all agreed the day had been “awesome”.

Jonty enjoyed learning about engineering, and said it had been lots of fun.

One of the best parts for Mercedes and Ella was learning about the chain of chocolate making, from how it is grown from beans to how it ends up in the shops.

All three definitely wanted to go to uni - Jonty was thinking of studying law, Mercedes journalism, and Ella wanted to become a vet. 

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