Information for schools

Background

The University of Tasmania Students in Schools program was piloted in the north of the state in 2013, and implemented state wide in 2014-2015. Since its development, approximately 3500 school students have participated, from primary, high and district high schools across the state.

What does the program do and when does it operate?

The primary aim of this structured program is to build positive relationships between current University students and Grade 5-9 students. University students visit the school two times during Term 3. They offer a series of fun and engaging activities, provide age-appropriate information about what it's like to be a university student, answer questions, and act as role models to students.

School visits last approximately 40-50 minutes and can be tailored to fit into a regular school period. Sessions are interactive and tend to be most effective if limited to a class group (around 30 students). We are happy to run the same session several times on the same day, to different student groups.

University students also host a visit by your school to a University of Tasmania campus. The campus visit will be arranged with the assistance of University Student Recruitment, and will comprise an age-appropriate Powerpoint presentation and on-campus activities designed to give students a taste of what a university campus is like. Any parents who would like to join the campus visit are warmly invited to do so.

Here is the tentative program. Please note that specific days/times will be negotiated with each school and will be subject to the availability of University student volunteers.

Week of semester
Location
Date
Time
Activity
Semester 1



Week 12

 Launceston  Mon 22 May  5:00 - 7:00 PM  Launceston Face-to-face training session 1*
 Hobart  Tues 23 May  5:00 - 7:00 PM  Hobart Face-to-face training session 1
Semester 2


Week 1

 Launceston

Mon 17 July

 5:00 - 7:00 PM  Launceston Face-to-face training session 2*
 Hobart  Tues 18 July  5:00 - 7:00 PM  Hobart Face-to-face training session 2
Week 3     Date TBC TBA - allow 1/2 to 1 full day  School visit 1

Week 5

Launceston

Mon 14 August

5:00 - 7:00 PM

 Launceston Face-to-face training session 3*        

Hobart

Tues 15 August

5:00 - 7:00 PM

 Hobart Face-to-face training session 3
Week 7    Date TBC TBA - allow 1/2 to 1 full day  School visit 2
Week 8 or 9    Date TBC TBA - allow 1/2 to 1 full day  Visit by school to University campus

What doesn't the program do?

This interactive program is offered only to students in Years 5-9 and is designed to shape student aspirations. University student volunteers can provide general information and advice, but they are not expected to answer specific enquiries about subject choices, university courses and career pathways. If you or your students would like specific career information, please let us know and we will pass your request onto University Student Recruitment.

Who are the University student volunteers?  

University student volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and will be selected to ensure they are committed to the aims of the program. Where possible we will try to match University students to their former schools or to schools in a similar geographical area. University students will visit your school in pairs, to present different perspectives on further learning pathways.

Some University students may be studying Education, but others will come from a range of different disciplines, including Arts, Business, Engineering, Law and Health Science. It is not a requirement of the program that students have formal teaching skills. All University students will be fully trained and supported by University staff and will have current Working with Vulnerable People checks.

If my school chooses to participate, what do we need to provide?

For the program to run effectively, participating schools need to provide the following:

  • A commitment to participate in all three sessions (two school visits by University student volunteers and one visit by your school to a University of Tasmania campus) during the period July to October.
  • Appropriate-sized room/s for the sessions with a smartboard or similar for Powerpoint presentations.
  • Classroom teachers must be present at all sessions and will be responsible for control of the class during sessions. The UTAS student volunteers are not registered teachers, even though some may be Education students.
  • If it is possible, it would be helpful if the supervising teacher could have a quick meeting with UTAS volunteers at the conclusion of each session in order to provide feedback and/or advice. Alternatively, you might like to email feedback to program staff.

The University will cover University student volunteer expenses.

The University will cover the cost of bus hire for the University campus visit. Schools need to arrange bus booking and invoice the University for reimbursement.

Department of Education approval

This program has been approved by the Department of Education General Managers.

What previous schools have said about the program

"We come from a rural area and we want to encourage students to be pursuing further education. It's a good program, catching them in year 8. For some students it might give them a little bit more purpose to focus on particular subjects and see the final result, so I think that opens up different options if perhaps [further education] hasn't been a common feature in their families' lives."

"I think there's certainly a greater awareness of the importance of further education in our school. We're trying to push that on a number of fronts. I think they're more aware now of what university life is like and some of the opportunities that might be available to them."

"I think it made a huge difference. Our students were very excited around the presentations and then the kinds of discussions that have been held after the UTAS students have left have been very positive, with students talking about their pathways. I think a lot of them now are thinking university, whereas potentially they would not have been thinking that way before."

"It was great for UTAS students to come in and build a bit of a relationship and a connection and then [for our students] to go to the university. If we just rocked up for a tour and hadn't really talked about university before and hadn't really talked about the options then it probably wouldn't have had as big an impact. Being able to talk about university and what's on offer and who can go and costs and how long you have to be there is good background information before you go. And having the UTAS students doing that is great as opposed to a lecturer, for example, coming in and doing the talking. They were young and the kids built relationships with them so that worked really well."  

"One [UTAS student] was straight from school to university and the other one was a mature aged student. So it was good for the students to see that it's not necessarily a hurry to make a decision on what you're going to do for the rest of your life, that you might change. And there's also things for them to go home and share with their family, that anyone can go to university at any age."

How does my school apply to participate in the program?

There are a limited number of places available for schools to participate. If your school would like to join the program, please contact the Program Manager, Robert Alderson on Robert.Alderson@utas.edu.au or the Program Academic Coordinator, Dr Jess Woodroffe, on 6324 3088 or email Jessica.Whelan@utas.edu.au