QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 80 - Page 7

Associate Student scheme helps more people to get degrees that not all learning needs to be school focused. The Children’s University offers a different approach and encourages children to foster a love of learning. It also creates a unique way of recognising and rewarding individuals for learning and getting involved in new things. It’s an inspirational way of engaging with the younger members of our communities and will hopefully motivate them to continue being active learners as they move through their teenage years.” Mary de la Peña, Chief Executive of Children’s University Scotland, explained how the initiative works. She said: “We provide an accreditation framework which rewards children for learning outside of normal school hours. Children can gain credits by taking part in a whole range of fun, interactive activities which can be school based or in the community - from drama to hip-hop dancing or from cooking to sports. Each child will get a ‘Passport to Learning’ which helps record their participation in activities. “The most important aspect of the Children’s University is that it’s a voluntary experience”, said Mary de la Peña. “Children work towards building their credits in their own time which means that their success, as part of the university experience, is a more personal achievement. Above all, it should be fun!” The next graduation ceremony will see school children from Midlothian graduate from the Children's University on the 26th June. A new film about the Queen Margaret Children’s University can be viewed online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qr_ bHaHTYKA&feature=youtu.be ❒ An initiative which is helping more people access degree level education is fully underway at QMU. The University’s Outreach and Community Engagement team has helped establish the Associate Student scheme which provides students with a new way to get a degree. Newbattle Abbey College, Edinburgh College and West Lothian College are all working with QMU to help people who are unsure about making the leap from college or school to university. The scheme introduces them to the university environment, facilities and support in small and more easily manageable steps. Students begin their University degree in a college environment, and then study at the University from the second or third year. The widening participation project is particularly helpful to people who have been out of education for a while, or have been working in industry and now want to improve their qualifications. The programmes at each college are different. For more details on the scheme email E: associatestudent@qmu.ac.uk ❒ QMYOU / Community Engagement and Widening Access 7