Reporter 432, 1 March 1999


Campus Connect

Campus Connect is the new umbrella title for all the University of Leeds City and Regional Office's activities involving students and staff in the local community. These are Student Tutoring, Out of School Clubs, ACE (Aiming for a College Education) Days and Campus Trails, Mentoring, the City and Regional Initiative on Student Projects (CRISP) and other activities under the heading of General Outreach.

"All these activities involve student volunteers, and sometimes staff, going out into the community to undertake a wide range of work, and we decided it was time to pull them together under one heading that says it all" says Keith Burnley, Head of the City and Regional Office. "We have been impressed by the number of students who are keen to get involved in the various schemes and at the effort they are prepared to put in."

Since the Office was set up in 1995 it has developed a variety of links with local schools and community groups, with the prime aim of raising academic aspirations and awareness of university life amongst school pupils and their families, and of enhancing the University's relationship with its neighbouring communities.

During the 1997/98 academic year over 200 students offered their services. 100 were involved in Student Tutoring in twenty-four different schools, putting in ten half-days as classroom assistants; 35 set up and ran Out of School Clubs in the East Bank area of Leeds such as IT, pottery, puppet-making and piano lessons; 56 helped with ACE Days where they visited schools to supervise groups of pupils in fun yet educational activities, and Campus Trails where they took pupils around the University on specially devised trails; and 19 undertook projects for local companies or voluntary organisations under the CRISP scheme, mainly as part of their academic courses. A number of the schemes have been externally funded, principally from the Government's Single Regeneration Budget.


Notes: 1. Some case studies are attached 2. For further information please contact Frances Ledgard, City and Regional Office, tel 233 2333. The Office also has its own Website, at http://www.leeds.ac.uk/external-affairs/city/

Campus Connect case studies

1. Student tutoring Carla Stimpson, a second-year English and Classical Literature joint honours student, recently acted as a student tutor at Victoria Primary School, East Leeds. "I really enjoyed it" says Carla "and I think I was useful." Says teacher Angela Allison: "Carla was excellent. She showed initiative and related very well to the children. The children enjoyed having extra adult attention, which had a positive effect on classroom management. The programme has been very beneficial for several children who respond to individual attention because of low self-esteem or shyness in large groups."

2. Out of School Clubs Two after-school IT clubs being run by students in City of Leeds High School and St Michael's College are a key element in the "IT's for You" project which has been set up with funding from the Royal Society and British Association Millennium Awards scheme, financed by the Millennium Commission. The project aims to demonstrate that IT is accessible, exciting and relevant to everyone. The clubs are being co-ordinated by Dan Weaver, a final year Computer Science student, and supported by a dozen IT whizz-kids from the same department.

3. City and Regional Initiative on Student Projects Kalvinder Degun, a part-time student on the Combined Business Studies course, undertook research into motivation and group dynamics for Business in the Community. The organisation reported that "Kalvinder was very committed and worked exceeding our expectations. Her research and findings have proved very useful; being a not-for-profit organisation the consultancy she provided would not have been possible otherwise."

4. General outreach a) Under the Schools, Business and Community project in the East Bank area of Leeds, funded under the Single Regeneration Budget Round 2, twelve students from the University's Music Society received training from Opera North's Education Department on the delivery of music workshops for Primary School children, prior to leading two highly successful workshops at All Saints, Brudenell and Little London Primary Schools. Further workshops are planned. Three of the students, led by Liz Muge, intend to develop the project by running after-school music workshops in one of the schools. b) A collaborative outreach project is being developed with the Royal Armouries Museum to involve History students in a range of activities in schools and the community. The project was launched last November when 60 pupils from Mount St Mary's High School visited the Royal Armouries for the morning. A dozen student volunteers supported the pupils during a tour of the War Gallery and a hands-on session in the Education workshop. Typical pupil comments included, 'I thought how we could touch things like old guns and swords was good and the video was excellent' and 'All of it was brilliant.'

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