If you follow my blog posts here on Inside Edge, you know that I’m currently in the United States of America, on a sandwich placement at the Morton Arboretum. I was fortunate when arranging up this work placement that Edge Hill University had just set up its Student Opportunity Fund (SOF) – a fund that students can apply for to help them make the most of career enhancing opportunities. The fund’s goal is to make sure that no student at EHU passes up a potentially life-changing experience because of the financial burden it might impose.
When I was in the midst of applying for my placement as a Research Affiliate at the Morton Arboretum, I realised quickly that costs would add up. An updated passport, a visa, flights and insurance would quickly put a hefty dent in my finances, leaving my maintenance loan severely lacking for the year abroad. Thankfully, my personal tutor, Paul Ashton, and the Money Advice Team (for whom I was working for at the time as a Money Buddy) informed me about the Student Opportunity Fund and that I could potentially be successful in acquiring additional funding.
Any student on an undergraduate or PGCE course attending EHU can apply for the fund, which will supply them with up to £2000 to support the proposed activity. The projects can be near or far, large or small, requiring the maximum amount available or a portion. Applications could cover travel and accommodation expenses, for example, for unpaid work experience or volunteering; interviews or assessments not covered by the employer; or conferences, festivals, or events where you’re showcasing your work. The fund could also cover costs of developing and making creative material.
Many students have already made use of this amazing fund to enable them to experience some wonderful opportunities that improve both their transferable and career-focused skills:
Applications are judged by a panel and must be submitted over ten working days before the panel convenes. For this academic year, 2017-2018, the remaining dates of convention are:
- Friday 13th April 2018
- Thursday 3rd May 2018
- Wednesday 6th June 2018
A – Art’s Centre: The Art’s Centre hosts a wide range of entertainment available for anyone – film, theatre, and music. Currently, students can get a free membership that comes with a few free tickets.
B – Biosciences: Obviously the greatest department around, is the department of biology. The building is filled with great equipment such as the electron microscope as well as having the brand new tech hub lab next door. Of course, the department staff are as well phenomenal – the technicians, administrators and lecturers.
C – Campus: Our wonderful campus is fairly small but incredibly beautiful. With two lakes and plenty of green spaces, you will never be far from nature, yet the modern facilities are equally as stunning.
D – Ducks: If you don’t know already, you should know that the ducks on campus are essentially the mascots of our uni.
E – Edge Link: The Edge Link Bus runs from campus to Ormskirk throughout the day, roughly every 15 minutes.
F – Facilities: Many impressive facilities exist at Edge Hill, the newest of which is the Techhub. It hosts the new biotechnology lab, as well as the CAVE. Other buildings worth mentioning are Creative Edge and Sporting Edge – both being modern facilities for the computery creative and the athletic populations of Edge Hill.
G – Green: Facilities Management became the second university in the UK to gain the Green Flag Award for maintaining an attractive and welcoming campus. Our uni is also green in that it is environmentally conscious, sporting solar panels, ground source heating and thermal heat recovery.
H – History: Edge Hill College, as it was once known, was originally a women-only teaching college, until accepting men in 1959. The history of Edge HIll has links to women’s rights and the Suffragette movement.
I – International: The International office allows students the opportunity to study abroad on the ERASMUS+ program. We have links to Sweden, Cyprus, Belgium, and many more.
J – Joint Honours: Those wishing to study a joint or combined honours degree will find a number of options available to them at Edge Hill, particularly in the Humanities subjects on offer here.
K – Knowledge: Those studying at Edge Hill will gain knowledge into their degree subject that only a lecturer could give. Studying Biology at Edge Hill has presented me with many opportunities to learn that would not have been available to me otherwise.
L – Liverpool: A mere 30 minutes on the train from Liverpool, Ormskirk is nicely situated near the bustling city.
M – Money Advice Team: The Money Advice Team offer advice at drop-in sessions all throughout the term, providing support on money management as well as information regarding scholarships and the hardship fund.
N – Nightlife: There are few clubs and bars in Ormskirk, as well as the SU Bar and Quad, ensuring you will have plenty of choices if you decide on a night in town.
O – Ormskirk: A quaint market town that makes a lovely place to call your home away from home. From the clock tower to coronation park, I know I’ve come to love it.
P – PGCE: Qualifications for teaching are also available at Edge Hill, alongside other undergrad and postgrad degrees.
Q – Queer representation: Our students’ union have both an LGBT+ Officer and also the upcoming position of a Trans Officer.
R – Red Bar: The Red Bar – adjacent the Arts Centre – is the location of the Open Mic nights and serves delicious pizza! The staff are incredibly welcoming too. Also here are many board games for a nice quiet social time.
S – Societies and Sports: So! Many! Societies! Ranging from Sports clubs to liberation or recreational socs.
T – Tutors: I can speak from experience when I say that my personal tutor has been very supportive of me and has provided great support when I’ve needed it. Personal tutors definitely make an important part of the incredible student support system at Edge Hill.
U – University of the Year: Back in 2014-5, Edge Hill won the University of the Year in 10th annual Times Higher Education (THE) Awards – a title it rightfully deserves!
V – Varsity: The annual sporting competition between us and the University of Central Lancashire is a great opportunity to get involved in competitive sport. Bonus V – Vikings: The Edge Hill American football team!
W – Whatuni awards: This year, Edge Hill won top accommodation, third for student support, and placed in the top five for Courses and Lecturers and Uni Facilities.
X – Xenobiotics: One of the areas of study by our biology department is mosquitoes as a vector for human disease. A topic that accompanies this is the use of insecticides – xenobiotics – to kerb the spread of said diseases.
Y – You: Our Student’s Union values you, and is made by you. Our bar and house staff are students, as are the elected officers, president and vice presidents.
Z – Zoo: Chester zoo is not far, and was one of the trips I attended during the first few weeks of my biology degree. It was a great icebreaker and helped form bonds that would only be strengthened in Cyprus, another trip in the first term of my first term of Biology.
Yesterday I travelled back to Blackpool from Ormskirk so that I can see my family etc. I went to go and visit my nanna and her new puppy! It’s a Chihuahua crossed with a Yorkie, she’s called Sally and is so cute s although she is a bit of a bully to other dogs! Here’s a picture!
Tonight I am going to watch my little brother’s band play a support slot, so tonight should be really good. I haven’t watched them in while either so I’m excited.
Whilst being back I am still trying to keep up with some work at I have to do. For my Text to Screen module we have to read a novel a week. Since starting back I’ve read Call of Cthulu and Flowers for Algernon (I loved Flowers for Algernon, I cried my eyes out!) and this week I have been reading Big Fish which I have really been enjoying so far. So I’m trying to keep on top of that so I have read it in time for my lecture. It’s been a big shock to everyone how much the workload has increased for our third year. But I’m managing it so far I think.
Also in relation to my last post, about the PGCE, I’ve found out a little more information about how I apply, which is through the college and not through UCAS as I originally thought. I will also have to do 150 hours in a work placement (I knew about the placement just wasn’t sure about how much I had to do) as well as the course will be on Fridays from September. So I’m really excited about it now. There’s an open evening on the 7th November. Luckily that is in my reading week/independent study week, so I should be able to go to it.
I’m finally happy that I am starting to organise my future a lot more!!
The question that everyone student constantly gets asked by other students family and friends is:
“So, what do you want to do after university?”
And from personal experience and from talking to my friends we have all agreed that it is extremely irritating as for most of the part we don’t know exactly what we want to do. I know that this doesn’t apply to 100% of people as some are well organised and know what they want to do and that is why they’re at university.
However, a lot of students are like myself and have been really undecided throughout our time here.
Throughout college I really wanted to be a Media Production teacher. But when I came to university I wasn’t so sure. Now that I am in my third year I think that it is really time to just think about life and what I want to do.
So recently I went back to my old college back at home (The Blackpool Sixth Form College) and spoke to my old tutor teacher and met the current students that are studying BTEC Media Production. Just being back there and observing the students do their work it brought back lots and lots of amazing memories and I really remembered how much I loved college and loved the course. The college has also done a fantastic job at expanding the BTEC Media Production course too so there is a lot more that the students can do. It was all really really exiting. So I asked my teacher what she thought about me becoming a teacher and she said she thought that I would be an asset and that she would love for me to work at the college.
That got me thinking about becoming a teacher again and I have started looking into it. And if there is a decent well paid job at the end of it I think that is it something to aim too. I’m pretty excited to graduate now and then hopefully go on to do my PGCE! Need to work harder than ever now.
I am also going to attend one of Edge Hill’s many career fairs next week in order to try and see what else is out there and if I can see if there is any more information that I don’t already have about the PGCE.