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Opportunity to get a taste of university study

University of Canterbury

news release
4 February 2004

Free courses an opportunity to get a taste of university study

The University of Canterbury is giving 50 people a chance to complete a free university paper.

The 50 students will be able to choose from a wide range of arts and commerce subjects that interests them without paying course fees, saving more than $500. It allows prospective students to study at little expense in a supportive environment.

It is hoped the new initiative will attract prospective students who may not have thought about tertiary study before, those who have not had the opportunity before now or who are daunted by the prospect of embarking on a full-time year.

"We are finding at the University of Canterbury that more adult students are attending university for a variety of reasons,” says Gareth Abdinor, University of Canterbury Equity & Access Advisor. "But, often they find making the transition to a full-time year difficult after years of being unemployed or at home looking after children.

“This initiative not only pays for a course fee, but it also provides a nurturing environment to help the student succeed," he adds.

Once enrolled the students will each work with a mentor who will help them adjust to the university environment. The mentor will show them around and impart their knowledge and experience.
The students will also be enrolled in the Writing and Study Skills Programme (WASP) which is run by the University to help students write in an academic style. The five-lecture course focuses on problem areas like taking effective lecture notes, constructing an argument, essay writing and referencing. Individual help is also available throughout the year. Each student will also be encouraged to take a library skills course.

"We would encourage people to take this opportunity to try and see if university is for them. It enables people to feel their way, get a few more skills under their belt — without costing them anything or needing to take out a student loan. People can take one step, get one course completed and being familiar with the workload and systems involved they can then embark on more study.”

The scheme is open to anyone over the age of 20 who hasn't previously been to university.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for all those people who would love to have a go at university but haven't had the chance. Now they can go for it."

The course can be counted towards the requirements for a university degree.

Applicants will need to fill in a form that gives credit for academic experience, communication skills and life experience.


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