photograph Business School and Newcastle United Foundation team-up in Schools' Campus Challenge

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Newcastle University Business School welcomed over 100 pupils through its doors, as part of this year’s annual Campus Challenge 2012, with Newcastle United Foundation.

The Campus Challenge 2012 winners were St John’s Primary School in Benwell.  They were presented with their prizes, which consisted of a Newcastle University Business School goody-bag and match tickets for Newcastle United, by Councillor Angela Douglas.

The day presented an opportunity for year six pupils, from primary schools in Newcastle and Gateshead to sample a day at university while taking part in a number of fun activities in and around the University campus.

View photos from the day here >

Pupils were accompanied from St James’ Park to lecture theatres within the Business School by Newcastle United’s mascots Monty and Maggie.  They then participated in a quiz that required them to video their journey in and around the University to compete for prizes, while learning interesting facts about the buildings.

During the pupils’ lunch break they were presented with a short speech from Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central and Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science and Digital Infrastructure.  Chi commented on the day:

“It was great to see Newcastle and Gateshead pupils from all different backgrounds here in the Business School seeing what goes on in a university.  I want our young people to feel that the University is part of their city, their heritage, their lives and that it could be an important part of their future too.
“We all need to do our bit to improve access to higher education and I’m glad Newcastle University and the Foundation are making it such fun.”

Gateshead Council cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Angela Douglas, said: “It’s sometimes difficult for young people to understand the opportunities that university life can offer.  That’s why events like this are so important. By giving primary school age pupils the chance to come and see for themselves, I hope that it inspires them and encourages them to want to go to university. It’s very important for young people to have aspirations.”

The winning team commented on the challenge:

Ellie Thorpe, year six from Bridgewater Primary School in Benwell said: “I would like to go to university now because I’ve seen that there are lots of different things to take part in, like sports and societies.  It has made me realise how useful going to university can be for when I am older and want to get a job.”

This was the second Campus Challenge organised by the Business School and Newcastle United Foundation and was a huge success for both organisations and the pupils involved.

Kate Bradley, head of Newcastle United Foundation said:

“This was a fun day enjoyed by all the young people but it was also a very important day in terms of their future.  At this age they are at a key transition stage as they move from primary to secondary school.  They are beginning to think about the next phase of growing up and raising their educational aspirations is important.”

Dr Joanna Berry, director of engagement at Newcastle University Business School added:

“At Newcastle University Business School we continually strive to ensure the work we do and the research we carry out positively impacts the region, and that we reinforce our duties as a civic university. 

“By being involved in the Campus Challenge event it allows us to actively engage with pupils, early on in their educational career. 

“We hope the pupils involved in the activities today will go on to achieve their goals, and that the event has made them aware of what higher education opportunities are open to them in the future.”

published on: 8th June 2012