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Progressing from school to university presents high school students with a range of daunting challenges. In recent years universities have found it difficult to attract students from secondary school with increases in university cohorts being dominated by older students. This paper describes a program to attract school students to built environment disciplines by providing them with opportunities to enter a gifted and talented scheme. The scheme involves the delivery of a first year built environment university course to a limited number of year 10, 11 and 12 students. It aims to attract high-achieving school students (especially females) to these programs and allow them to complete a first year course in tandem with their secondary school studies. The paper describes the pilot implementations of the scheme, the ways in which the students engaged with their studies, and the support they received from the university and schools. The paper summarises student and staff feedback and concludes by identifying the generic strategies that supported this initiative.
This document has been peer reviewed.