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School scheme inspires next generation of healthcare professionals

Pupils from across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset have gained a valuable insight into medical education in a scheme which aims to boost university applications.

Over a series of workshops, more than 40 pupils got a hands-on insight into life as a student studying Medicine, Medical Sciences or Medical Imaging. Along the way, they have improved their communication and presentation skills, learned about the university application process and boosted their confidence. The University’s Exeter Progression programme includes a pathway to studying at the University, and an alternative offer on application.

Callum Larcombe, 17, who studies at Exeter College, said the programme offered a “really enjoyable experience”. He said: “It’s given me an invaluable insight into the range of medical professions, one that you can’t get anywhere else. You also get a real feel for what it’s going to be like as a student.”

Ameerah Askew, 16, studies at Honiton Community College, and said: “The programme has really helped build my confidence. I’m now thinking about applying for Medicine. It’s definitely made me feel more likely to apply, and I have a better idea of what to expect.”

Amanda Harding, 17, who studies at Bodmin College, said: “It’s been really useful. You get to see lots of different aspects of healthcare professions, like radiography. It’s really beneficial to get a real sense of what goes on there. It’s helped build teamwork and confidence, as you have to work with people you don’t know.”

Mark Wardle, Director of Curriculum at Truro & Penwith College, said: “The Exeter progression programme provides our students with a fantastic insight into studying at a Russell Group University, developing their skills, knowledge and understanding of higher education. We hope that this will inspire them to make ambitious and exciting HE applications with the added bonus of a reduced offer if they successfully complete the programme.”

Dr Crawford Winlove, the Medical School’s outreach champion, said: “It’s so important to nurture the next generation of healthcare professionals who will make a real difference to the healthcare of patients into the future. We have some incredibly talented young people on our doorstep, and we want to make sure they know about the opportunities available to them in Exeter and Truro, and that we are doing all we can to support them on their journey.”

In addition to the extremely valuable advice and guidance they receive Exeter Progression participants will also get a preferential grade offer if they apply to study at the University of Exeter. To take part, pupils must study at an eligible school, have achieved the necessary GCSE grades and meet at least one of a set of criteria which includes living in an area where people are less likely to go to university, or coming from a family where neither parent has attended university.

In addition to Medical Professions, Exeter Progression offers activity strands across a range of other disciplines, including Biosciences, Business and Management, Classics and Ancient History, English, Geography,, Modern Languages, Engineering and Law amongst others. Find out more at

The schools involved are: Bideford College, Bodmin College, Exeter College , Falmouth School, Honiton Community College, Launceston College, Liskeard School & Community College, Petroc, The Axe Valley Community College, Treviglas Community College, Truro & Penwith College, and Truro College.

Date: 21 July 2015

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