Blue Skies the Backdrop for Biggest Parents Visit

6 May 2013

Recognising the influence that parents' perceptions and experiences of education have on their children, the University of Sydney invites them to get to know the University personally. On Wednesday 10 April, the University of Sydney hosted 270 parents of students from schools based in Auburn, Fairfield, Condell Park, Liverpool, Guilford, Villawood and Yagoona as a part of the Bridges to Higher Education initiative. More parents attending than ever before discovered a campus bathed in autumn sunshine at its most beautiful.

The campus visit provided parents with the opportunity to meet students and staff from the partnering universities and learn about the benefits of a university education, entry pathways to university, financial support and a range of student services in a friendly and relaxed environment. Community Liaison Officers from the schools accompanied the group to translate information where necessary. Being able to meet and talk with university staff on a casual, informal basis helps some parents feel more confident about getting the information they need.

Student ambassador Kristy O'Neill commented that "A few different groups of women I was speaking to in particular were just so happy with how welcome they felt on campus... parents mentioned that their children often got the opportunity to visit a university campus with their school, but were grateful they now had the chance to do so themselves." Following information sessions, a tour of the campus, and lunch with students and staff, parents were escorted to meet their buses home (or back to school for the afternoon pickup). Many expressed great excitement at the prospect of sharing the experience and new knowledge with their families at home. "I have had a complete change of perspective! The university is a lovely place to be. I can't wait to get home and tell my Year 11 son about today and bring him to the Open Day!"

Bridges to Higher Education is a unique partnership between five universities including University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, Australian Catholic University, University of Western Sydney and Macquarie University, which aims to boost the participation of under-represented communities in higher education. This visit to the University of Sydney was the second in a series of Parent visits to university campuses held this year. For dates of upcoming Parent events, visit the Bridges to Higher Education website.