Western Sydney University Taster Day Excursion
On Tuesday, 4 December, a group of 25-34 year old students from the Liverpool, Fairfield and Cabramatta colleges participated in the Navitas cross-college University Taster Day Excursion organised by Western Sydney University. The young students were keen to explore higher education options as their next step after completing study with Navitas English and this day was beneficial in helping them understand the transition to university, course options and uni life.
The Level 2 and 3 students visited the WSU Kingswood campus, and there were sessions on refugee scholarships, pathways to studying at the University, and English language requirements. The students then took part in a Q&A session where they sought advice on the necessary steps to achieve their education goals.
The students went to see the new, state-of-the-art library in the campus after lunch. Their trip to the sports facility included icebreaking sessions and team games, courtesy of the student ambassadors from the Sports Science faculty.
The last item of the excursion was a presentation by Dr. Alfred Mupenzi . He is the Project Officer for WSU’s Office of Widening Participation. His doctorate thesis was on conceptualising the experiences of African higher education students with a refugee background – not only to understand why some students have ‘educational resilience’ and succeed and some don’t, but also to help foster this success. Born and raised in refugee camps in Uganda after losing both of his parents by the age of 12, Alfred has endured a lot already, and faced social and financial challenges upon arriving in Australia in 2013. But he never gave in, and pointed out:
“Students with a refugee background are strong, are dynamic to situations and circumstance, have a high capacity of adaptability and cannot be reduced to their past.”
Alfred encouraged the students to seek help in planning for further education. Inspired by the presentation, the youth spoke positively about their journeys to improve their English language skills, and further their hopes for tertiary education.
All the young students were very appreciative of WSU for organising buses, childcare and the delicious morning tea and lunch. Navitas English looks forward to working with Dr. Mupenzi in 2019 to plan more such events and get students from all SEE campuses to participate.