Pathways to Property Summer School 2016

'It was the best experience of my life!'

By Emily Archer, Pathways to Property Project Manager, RREF

This summer 93 sixth form students arrived at the University of Reading for the fourth Pathways to Property residential Summer School. Coming from across the UK, the year 12 students were full of excitement in anticipation of the four days of academic and social activities ahead of them, where they would be meeting new people, experiencing university life and learning about real estate.

The programme used different media to facilitate discussions around RREF_Pathways_Talk1current themes in property, whilst also raising awareness of the many and varied roles and career opportunities within the sector. One of the highlights for the students was working on their group project; a stakeholder debate about a proposed housing development on the edge of Reading, which saw the students presenting to a group of invited industry guests on the final day of the summer school. The debate that ensued was enthusiastic, passionate and, at times, heated!

In addition, staying in halls of residence, taking part in a campus tour and having the chance to chat with current Real Estate and Planning students provided the ideal opportunity for the students to discover more about university life.

The Summer School plays an important role in the activities offered by Pathways to Property, and aims to work with academically-able students from under-represented backgrounds. This year, 80% of students met the academic criteria we were looking for (a rise on 75% last year), and 67% were from areas of deprivation. Coupled with the fact that 82% would be the first in their families to go to university, and none of the students had connections to the property industry, the Summer School provided a wide range of students who wouldn't traditionally consider a career within property with the opportunity to learn more about both the sector and university life.

The feedback from the students who attended the Summer School has been overwhelmingly positive with 95% of them describing the Summer School as having met or exceeded their expectations. Aadam commented that he 'was scared for this experience and meeting new people, however the experience has exceeded my expectations. Before I came here, I didn't know where I was going in life but now I'm 100% certain to go into property.' After the Summer School, 97% of participants felt informed about careers in property.

This was the fourth Summer School run by Pathways to Property and, as in previous years, we are very grateful to all the firms and individuals who supported the Summer School, whether through financial support, supporting the students in their project groups, hosting site visits, contributing to academic sessions, or attending the final day of the Summer School. The students really appreciated the chance to meet so many people from the sector, with Liam summing up this sentiment: 'I found it incredible to have access to people of all sectors of the industry, and also to have the chance to present to some, and work alongside others.'

The final word goes to Janet whose reflection on the experience was shared by many of the students who participated in the Summer School. She said that the Summer School 'gave me a better insight into what it is like to work in property and I definitely want to do something related to property in the future.'

To learn more about Pathways to Property and how you can help…

For further information email pathways2property@rref.reading.ac.uk or contact 0118 378 4196.

 

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