The EUniWell School Ambassador Programme is designed to be a scalable ambassador programme of EUniWell students from a number of backgrounds to promote life-long learning and provide role models in schools.
What is the aim of the Programme?
The initiative aims to raise the aspirations of young people and promote European educational opportunities across EUniWell communities. Partner universities will take EUniWell out into local communities by ensuring engagement with local schools and promoting social diversity and equal opportunities at both primary and high school levels.
School Ambassadors are university students from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds who demonstrate a strong willingness to promote well-being and life-long learning in society and especially among the younger generation. The Ambassadors participate in a variety of events, share information about EUniWell partner universities and local higher educational opportunities, and share their own experiences of higher education.
The University of Birmingham has a long history of welcoming students from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds. The Access to Birmingham (A2B) programme is designed to help students make the transition from school to university.
Ambassadors at the University of Birmingham visit local schools, deliver academic taster sessions, offer mentoring, and are involved in a number of online events.
The School Ambassador Programme at the University of Florence is organised around a twofold approach; there are two programmes for students involved in the orientation of high school students.
On one hand, there are “tutors” who are university students who apply for a grant, in exchange for which they work a definite amount of hours for the university. Orientation is included in the different jobs they might be assigned to. In this case, they organise the orientation fairs, usually held between April and June.
The other role that might be taken by students is on a voluntary basis, where they participate in the educational fairs, answering prospective students’ questions about their department and/or their degree.
Fairs can be either in the form of an “open day”, where the department hosts prospective students and offers a broad overview of the courses and technical information, or as “One day at the University” events, where high school students can attend one lecture for all the faculties.
The University of Murcia (UMU) has developed a programme, the #BeeGlobalUMU, under which students collaborate in the internationalisation of UMU Faculties and Centers.
The main objective of the programme, which offers 28 grants each year to undergraduate students, is to foster the involvement of students with international experience (e.g. former Erasmus or ISEP students) in activities aimed at promoting the internationalisation of the UMU Faculties and Centers. These activities include the organisation of information sessions, both for incoming and outgoing international students, support for the search of destinations for international mobility, dissemination of international mobility calls through social media, and the organisation of events with international students.
Semmelweis University and Budapest Medical Students’ Association (BMSA) have an extensive network with primary and secondary schools. Many schools approach BMSA in order to give interactive health lessons for their pupils each year.
On the first occasions of the EUniWell School Ambassador programme series, Semmelweis University students visited two vocational schools in Budapest in the spring semester in 2022. All together one hundred secondary school students attended the career orientation forums.
The main topics of EUniWell classroom-based events included:
• the importance of well-being and life-long-learning
• how to find pathways to higher education institutions (universities’ admission requirements and Ambassadors’ personal stories)
• international opportunities within EUniWell
Presentations on the admission requirements and the various higher education opportunities offered by Semmelweis University were given and followed by open Q&A sessions that gave an opportunity to all attendees to ask questions and obtain first-hand information from the Semmelweis University School Ambassadors who were former students of the vocational school.
Following the success of the pilot programme, further career orientation sessions will be held.
The EUniWell School Ambassador Programme is an excellent opportunity to work together with many different internal student associations, academic staff and associated partners. It supports social and civic dialogue with the local communities and ensures that university knowledge is translated into societal benefit.
The University of Cologne has developed a Student Ambassador programme in cooperation with all faculties and institutions. The Central Student Advisory Service organises the ambassador programme in local schools and the Ambassadors are present at Open Campus events, help in educational fairs and represent the university at study orientation events at schools in the Cologne area. The university offers detailed online student profiles.
Student ambassadors are students of the University of Cologne who tell prospective students what their own study orientation was like and what their everyday student life is like. The aim is to give prospective students a realistic and everyday insight into university and studies as early as possible and to motivate them to start their own study choice process.
The Ambassadors serve as academic role models.
School Ambassadors at Linnaeus University come from a number of backgrounds and both Swedish and international students are encouraged to apply. School Ambassadors at Linnaeus University participate in educational fairs, open house events and also visit local schools and host visits from schools.
The university has developed a Unibuddy interactive chat which enables pupils to contact current Ambassadors to gain more insight into university life and the application process.
Nantes Université has a School Ambassador Programme called Tutor Ambassadors.
The university has a partnership with 79 local schools.
There are three types of actions upon the requests of the high schools:
- General presentation of the university and of student life,
- Conferences on specific study programmes,
- Forums/participation in high schools’ orientation related events.
Nantes Université has a number of projects aimed at encouraging primary and secondary school students to enter higher education including Industri’elles, aimed at increasing the number of women in industry, and Université à l’essai, a programme which allows final year high school students to attend courses at Nantes Université. Furthermore a website specifically dedicated to high-school students is also managed by the university.
There is a National Programme called Cordées de la réussite (Climbing together to success) aiming at establishing a mentoring scheme between university students and high-school students in order to promote diversity and equal opportunities to enter higher education in high schools located in socially disadvantaged areas. This Programme is adapted to local specificity.