160 students from schools all over Ireland recently descended upon UL to complete Ireland's only Introduction to University Programme (IUP) this June. This highly successful programme, which commenced on June 15th , is running until this Thursday June 25th and is designed to help secondary students decide between the often bewildering range of career and third-level course options available to them and also to experience college life.
With the current negative economic forecast in Ireland as well as the possibility of the re-introduction of college fees, students need to be fully aware of all of their options when choosing their programme of third level study.
Established in 1989, the IUP offers residential and non- residential places and is a four-day summer Programme of interactive learning which allows the student gain practical experience of different career options available to them. The Programme, the only one of its kind in the country, encourages students to gain an understanding of key third-level disciplines and to become better equipped to take the important career decisions they face. The Programme also prepares students for making the often-difficult transition from 2nd-level to 3rd-level study.
At the IUP this year, students experienced all aspects of third-level life:
- Academic Areas - taster sessions typically in:- Law and Business; Architecture; Engineering including Manufacturing, Mechanical, Electronic and Aeronautical; Science and Medical Sciences including Physiotherapy & Nursing; Humanities including Music & Dance, New Media Studies and Liberal Arts; Education including Teaching Education Programmes.
- Social & Cultural aspects of a university e.g . Clubs & Societies, sporting and other extra-curricular facilities, including discussion sessions with current students
- Study Skills
- Exploring Career Options
- Career Workshops
Past students have found the IUP to be extremely helpful in making an informed choice about their career as well as being great fun and an opportunity to meet like-minded students from all parts of Ireland. According to a most recent survey, the vast majority of 6th Year students surveyed stated that the Programme helped them to directly decide their course choice, indicating the main benefits of the Programme to include "the help it provided in making/confirming CAO choices; the insight into what college life is like and finding out course content." Career Guidance Counsellors have consistently acknowledged the positive benefits for students who attend the programme in that it has helped clarify exactly what the courses are about and motivated them to work towards their course choice.