Press Office


Newcastle plays host to gifted schoolchildren

High achieving school pupils have visited Newcastle to get their first taste of university life.

Year nine students from across the country headed to the university to take part in a range of activities and find out more about higher education.

The 46 youngsters visited the School of Dental Sciences and tried drilling and filling a fake tooth and then completed a Countdown-style number challenge in the maths department.

They visited Newcastle as part of the Dux scheme, a national initiative set up by the Department for Education and the Russell Group of research intensive universities to reward high achieving school pupils.

The “Dux” – Latin for leader or champion – is aimed at raising the aspirations of all pupils, including those from less affluent backgrounds, to go to university, including top higher education institutions. A similar scheme, also called Dux, already exists in schools in Scotland.

Lewis Bower, 14, from Chaucer School in Sheffield, was one of the pupils who was  chosen to visit Newcastle. He said: “It’s been good and it’s been interesting finding out about the different subjects they teach here. I liked drilling and filling the tooth – it’s got me thinking about dentistry.”

Haleema Akhtar, 14, from City of Leeds High School, said: “I really like the campus, the buildings and I was surprised how green it is. The people are really nice and I love the way they talk up here.”
?Courtney Green, 14, from Durham Community Business College, said: “I’d definitely think about coming to Newcastle. I want to go to university so I can get a good job and be paid more money.”

Professor Suzanne Cholerton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Learning and Teaching at Newcastle University, said:  “As a Russell Group University we were delighted to welcome the first Dux students to Newcastle. We wanted to show them what university can offer and that high achievement at school can lead to the opportunity to study at university.

“We recognise that some of the brightest students need support to go onto higher education and last year we launched our Promise Scholarships which will support students from less advantaged backgrounds to study at Newcastle University.  In addition our award-winning PARTNERS programme allows students to combine slightly lower ‘A’ level grades with attendance at a summer school to gain a place at Newcastle University.”


Pictured: left to right Haleema Akhtar, Charlotte Gooch and Lewis Bower

published on: 25 June 2012