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C-Live, Connect (VI Resourcing)

Higher Horizons +

Chester University

Age Range

As part of the NCOP, Higher Horizons+ is a collaborative network of eleven universities and colleges…


The National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) started in 2017 with the aim of supporting the government’s goals to make university more accessible. As part of the NCOP, Higher Horizons+ is a collaborative network of eleven universities and colleges providing free activities to support and engage young learners, encouraging them to consider progression routes into HE level study.

“Connect Training offer provision that meets these needs perfectly. The workshops are wholly engaging and encourage young people to explore their potential in a fun and interactive way.”

Simon Price, Head of Higher Horizons+

The Challenge

Higher Horizons+ provides a wide range of exciting new outreach activities to young learners aged between 13 and 18 atselected schools and colleges. Often these young people can be disengaged and de-motivated with regards to their study, and have associated reservations about their ability to progress their education. All the activities offered by Higher Horizons+ aim to raise aspirations and increase confidence and engagement through the provision of impartial advice, support and guidance around routes to accessing Higher Education level qualifications.

The Requirements

A fresh solution was required to support and extend the existing role-play outreach programme activities. The new approach needed to be immersive, interactive and innovative to fit with the current offering. The training solution also needed to be attention grabbing, intriguing and memorable to the young people, whilst instilling a feeling of security and confidence that encouraged them to engage with the activity.

Connect Training Solution

The virtual reality platform instantly captures attention and creates intrigue, engaging young learners in the workshops. Connect Training have supported Higher Horizons+ by
developing teaching experiences, where young learners can create and deliver a lesson plan using the classroom setting. The young learners get to experience life as a teacher as they immerse themselves in the classroom and interact with the pupils.

Other workshops include a ‘Dragons Den’ themed activity where the young learners develop a concept and pitch to a room of virtual business people to achieve their buy-in. All the interactions are live, with simulators operating the virtual characters in real time. This allows the young learners to see the immediate effects of their actions and test different approaches in handling situations with no algorithm limitations.

Due to the wide variety of scenarios available there is potential to easily increase the workshops to cover topics such as hospitality experiences, interview skills and corporate training.

The Connect Training virtual reality platform is all online, requiring no specialist equipment or technical knowledge. It can be easily and seamlessly integrated into the outreach programme activities without incurring the additional costs associated by traditional role-play trainers. The solution also provides the wow factor whilst providing realistic training experiences to raise the aspirations of young learners.

Key benefits

Immersive training experience to raise aspirations and confidence.

Easily accessed online, with no special equipment or technical knowledge necessary.

Live real-time interactions.

Cost effective role-play training.

Tailored and bespoke scenarios support a wide variety of NCOP workshops.

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