Aberdeen FC and the University of Aberdeen have announced a two-year extension to their successful schools and communities partnership.
The partnership, which kicked off in December 2018 has seen the University work with the Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT) in communities throughout the north-east, providing support and input to the Trust’s successful school and community engagement programmes to encourage pupils to consider coming to university.
This includes the AFCCT Partner Schools Initiative, which runs various activities aimed at addressing poverty-related attainment issues at primary and secondary schools in Aberdeen city and shire.
The initiative has a wide range of collaborative aims, including attracting young people from a wide variety of backgrounds to higher education; engaging AFC Community Trusts cohorts with scientific studies; placement and training opportunities for University students with the Football Club; professional development training for Football Club staff from University lecturers and many more.
The inaugural year of the partnership has already seen the two institutions successfully collaborate in a number of ways.
Lecturers from the University of Aberdeen Business School have collaborated with AFCCT staff to teach pupils at Tullos, Buchanhaven, Walker Road, Heathryburn and Quarryhill primary schools and Northfield and Peterhead academies about basic economic and business principles by using a football club as an example.
A further initiative that supports the University’s widening access and ‘open to all’ agenda is a plan to bring a group of pupils involved in the AFCCT to attend a tour of the University campus.
Plans are also at an advanced stage that could see a 4th year Sports and Exercise Science student go on placement within AFCCT for a year.
Professor George Boyne, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Aberdeen said: “I am thrilled that this partnership between two local institutions has already yielded tangible actions that are benefitting young people in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and it is great that it is being extended.
“Our founding principle is to be ‘open to all’, and a huge part of achieving that is to take our people into schools to show how higher education is relevant, advantageous and achievable for young people. Working with Aberdeen FC and the fantastic AFCCT has allowed us to do that using the AFCCT’s established connections with local schools and the results have been very impressive. I look forward to growing our relationship with AFC over the next two years.”
Robbie Hedderman AFCCT Partnership & Business Development Manager added: “We are delighted at AFCCT to extend this partnership. Working in collaboration with University of Aberdeen not only compliments the work already being done in the local community but also adds real value to what we deliver. In our Partner Schools programme we work hard to raise young people’s aspirations to pursue a positive future. This approach strongly aligns with the University founding principle of being ‘open to all’ and assists them in attracting young people from a wide variety of backgrounds into higher education. We are also very excited to welcome the Universities 4th year students on a year-long work placement. These young students will bring excellent knowledge from their University courses to support the delivery of our community programmes. In return AFCCT will be providing students with the required real-life work experience to support them in the transition into full time employment.”