UA92 students complete first year studies online

Students at University Academy 92 (UA92) have completed their first year of academic studies, having made a quick switch to digital learning following the COVID-19 outbreak.

Co-founded by Manchester United’s ‘Class of 92’ players and Lancaster University, UA92 moved to fully online learning from March 19, to enable studies to continue on schedule following introduction of the Government’s social distancing measures.

Students were well-prepared for the change to entirely digital education as ‘Digital Wednesdays’ were already a structured part of the learning each week for the new higher education institution.

One of the key elements of this success is the close partnership UA92 has with Microsoft, who not only share space at the campus on Talbot Road, Old Trafford, but also support UA92 in the use of Microsoft Teams as the virtual learning environment for all students.

Troy Wood, a Business Studies student said: “Fortunately, with having Microsoft as a core partner, we have already had experience of using Microsoft Teams from the beginning of the course, so the transition to online learning was seamless.

“We have been able to use Teams for virtual lectures and completing group assignments as well as online live sessions with external speakers. It has been a great way to stay connected and complete my first year from home.”

UA92 offers degrees awarded by Lancaster University.

In addition to subject study, underpinned by the academic excellence of Lancaster University, each degree also has character and personal development at its core, inspired by the winning mentality of the Class of 92 – including resilience as a key theme.

Beth Cooper, Media and Communications student said: “The focus on resilience prepares you for your future, as you learn how to take a negative and turn it into a positive.

“Resilience is needed throughout everyday life as well as in education as knowing how to overcome a seemingly negative situation is one of the key routes to success. UA92 provides you with the opportunity to develop this skill and become more prepared for life.”

The curriculum, delivered in fixed morning or afternoon slots for the duration of an individual’s degree, is designed to enable students from a range of educational and socio-economic backgrounds to access high-quality higher education.

This structure, designed to enable students to combine busy lives including work and family commitments with full-time studies, has enabled students to have some predictability in this time of uncertainty.

Prof Craig Gaskell, principal and CEO of UA92 said: “Despite these challenging times, it’s important to mark this milestone for our pioneer undergraduates who commenced their studies in Business, Media and Sport subjects last September.

“They have been working very hard, via our block structured delivery approach, to enable completion of their entire first year of studies at the beginning of April.

“Students adapted very quickly to fully online learning, as did staff, and engagement has continued to be impressive, enabling studies to continue while observing the essential national lockdown.

“I am grateful to everyone involved for making this great vision for contemporary higher education a reality, and for their determination to ensure learning continues, despite these exceptional circumstances.”

In addition to September, UA92 also enables students to enroll at different points in the year. Students who joined UA92 last November will continue their studies, fully online, for a further study block, to complete their academic year in May.

UA92 is also providing a range of virtual open events to replace the open days and applicant days that were planned to take place on campus over this period.