Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

South Belfast school kids sample life at Queen’s

Patricia Hampson of Queen's Widening Participation Unit with Professor Fluffy

Around 50 primary school children from south Belfast had a unique introduction to Queen’s University when they received a guided tour by an academic with a difference — cuddly, purple Professor Fluffy.

Pupils from St Ita’s Primary School in south Belfast took part in a tour last Friday (May 1) which went behind the scenes at Queen’s as part of a pilot programme to illustrate life at university and to encourage children to consider higher education as a life choice.

The visits have been arranged under the university’s Discovering Queen’s initiative which works with young people, schools, colleges and parents to address real or perceived barriers to accessing higher education.

Professor Fluffy is a colourful academic character created by the University of Liverpool as part of the government’s Aimhigher initiative to encourage young people to enter higher education.

Queen’s Widening Participation team member E-J Havlin said: “The programme teaches them about university life in a fun, engaging and interactive way.”

The young visitors were led by Professor Fluffy on a tour of the main site and the university’s Physical Education Centre, after which they each received a mini-Professor Fluffy, access to an educational web-based resource and associated comic-book materials.

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