OVER 500 students have attended a successful showcase event for universities and colleges from across the UK and Ireland.
Year 13 students from schools in Downpatrick, Newcastle and Castlewellan turned out in their hundreds for the careers conference hosted by the Lecale Learning Community in the St Patrick Centre last week.
The event was organised to give pupils the opportunity to discuss some of the courses and careers available on completion of their A-level programmes with representatives from 21 universities, regional colleges, Deloitte and the careers service.
Some of the most popular universities and colleges for local students were represented including Queen’s University, the University of Ulster, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin City University, Dundalk Institute, Belfast Metropolitan and South Eastern Regional Colleges.
There were also representatives from Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, Napier, Glasgow Caledonian, Aberdeen, Swansea, Newcastle University, Liverpool Hope, Bradford University, University of Salford, Huddersfield University and Harper Adams.
Information was available on a full range of courses from animation to zoology.
The event was arranged by Stephen Glass, co-ordinator of the Lecale Learning Community.
He said he was delighted to see the high turn-out for the event which he said was designed to kickstart their move towards third level education and to highlight the opportunities available beyond the most common choices made by year 14 students.
“We were trying to show the options available beyond the traditional Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS),” he said.
“Deloitte, which is now interested in recruiting students at 18 years of age was in attendance as was the Dundalk Institute of Technology, Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University.
“This is the first time an event such as this has been hosted on this scale.”
Dr Tim Campbell, director of the Saint Patrick Centre, said he was delighted to support the event, while Kevin Lambe, principal of Shimna Integrated College, said the careers conference gave local students the opportunity to find out about subjects, courses and careers in Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands.