Meet a Young Scholar

Abby, Carol, Daniel and Ju share insights into their experience in our Young Scholars Programme.

Daniel Crawford

Daniel Crawford

The Young Scholars programme has changed who I am as a student. Since participating in the Philosophy 105G course about critical thinking, I feel more confident to make the leap to university, I’ve gained insight into how the next step of my studies will be a year earlier and it’s changed the way I structure my thoughts.

I attended the Young Scholars programme online during a free period throughout my regular school day. This enabled me to achieve one course worth of credit to take to university with me without clashing with my NCEA studies. Through the programme, I became accustomed to online resources like Canvas as well as the different kind of learning done at a tertiary level.

The Young Scholars programme introduces pupils to a more self-directed learning system than high school. Lecturers provide the information about the weekly topic of the course and allow freedom over how students practice and process it. Whilst this was one of the initial challenges of the course, the lecturers are very helpful and supportive, and I believe the development of my self-motivation and time management skills was a huge benefit.

The critical thinking course itself covered interesting material about how to form and evaluate good arguments that are sound or cogent (yes, there's a difference!). Philosophy is a personal passion of mine and I’m grateful for the Young Scholars programme for providing me the opportunity to study a subject that isn’t offered in the NCEA curriculum.

Before attending, I had only ever learnt about philosophy through history and the theories of famous philosophers, so the course was an enjoyable way to expand my knowledge on the topic. The discussions were engaging, the assignments were relevant, and the lessons were applicable to how I approached other areas of my study.

I’d recommend an accelerated year thirteen student who is ready to get a head start on university to partake in the Young Scholars programme. Advice I have for future young scholars would be to get involved, put discussion entries in early so other students can reply and don’t be afraid to ask for help. The Young Scholars programme is an advantageous introduction to university learning and life.

Carol Huang

Carol Huang

To both push myself intellectually and to explore my interests, I took the course Philosophy 105G as part of the Young Scholars Programme in Semester One 2020.

Attending school in the North Shore and living in West Auckland, my main concern was transport to and from the campus. Fortunately, this particular course was offered through a fully online platform where I could study the content and complete assessments from the comfort of home. This unique teaching method allowed me to eliminate the stress of transport worries and saved me a lot of time from not needing to take hour-long bus rides.

While the course was intellectually challenging and required great dedication, the learning experience was highly flexible and I was able to comfortably balance my philosophy studies with my high school studies and perform well in both.

Initially, I felt overwhelmed by the mass of philosophical content that was drastically different from any high school study I’ve done. But as the semester progressed and I began to familiarise myself with the online platform, through the multiple weekly online conferences with the tutors as well as the platform Piazza, I found myself fully immersed in this learning environment and connected with the Philosophy 105G community.

Additionally, in the midst of the Covid lockdown, the philosophy students also created social media groups where we could all help each other with our learning, allowing me to personally connect with other students.

As my school subjects are science-heavy and I intend on pursuing a career in Medicine in the future, this course may not directly impact my current studies, but the skills I gained from this course are transferable to all aspects of my life.

Through Phil105G, I studied in-depth argument theories, psychological biases, dispositions, and much more. I was able to substantially improve my logical thinking and approach to learning. Furthermore, the completion of this course allowed me to improve both my time management and independent thinking skills.

For those who are considering whether or not to participate in the Young Scholar Programme, I would full-heartedly encourage you to say yes! To me, this course was not just about the academic benefits, but it was more about exploring other areas of my interests in a way that would not be possible in high school and to gain a first-hand understanding of tertiary education.

Abby Irwin

Abby Irwin

My experience as a Young Scholar was incredible – being on campus and experiencing a taste of university life was such an exciting adventure and challenge that really enhanced my final year of high school.

There were so many benefits that made the programme rewarding and helpful for me. When I was applying, I didn't think taking POL109 would be a course that would be particularly relevant to my high school studies. But it turned out that I could take the knowledge I learned at university and apply it to NCEA, including general skills like university-level essay writing and being comfortable with a large workload that made me holistically a better student and really improved my NCEA Level Three results.

I think the main challenge for me was time management. It's obviously a big commitment to balance high school and university as well as extracurriculars and other duties, but I found the benefits far outweighed the drawbacks.

Having the opportunity to study politics was something I would not have gotten at high school, and it's a subject that I am very passionate about – so the workload and time commitment never felt overwhelming because I was genuinely interested in the work I was doing. It made my love for politics grow even more, and I’m certain I’ll end up taking more politics papers in the future!

One of the best parts of the Young Scholars Programme was the on-campus experience and how much it helped in my transition to studying at University of Auckland. Having already experienced the university as a student, it dispelled any anxiety I felt about leaving high school and made me so excited to start my degree.

It also confirmed that my choice to study at UoA was the right one. I feel really confident about starting my university studies, as I already have a course under my belt and have spent a semester on campus familiarising myself with the university. The programme was invaluable with the knowledge it provided and made the process of starting university so simple at every step of the way.

My advice to future Young Scholars would just be to dive in. It's not an opportunity you can get anywhere else and it's so beneficial for both Year 13 and your future studies. Pick a course you are interested in and just enjoy it! It may seem like a daunting experience at first but I promise it's worth it.

Young Scholars was one of the best parts of my final year of high school and I cannot recommend it enough!

Ju Kim

Ju Kim

I was able to take Art History 114 through the Young Scholars Programme. The experiences I took away were invaluable. It expanded my creativity, and I realised that there are different layers towards viewing Art. My favourite part of the course was learning about Renaissance portraiture and its deep fabrications.

A surreal moment was realising that the lecturer of the course was also the author of my book! My fear and nervousness towards the course dissolved on the first day. The lecturers and tutorial teachers were very friendly, and I found that many of the students were eager to discuss new topics.

Taking Art History 114 was challenging at first. While it was difficult absorbing the content and keeping up with the recommended readings, the benefits came to outweigh the challenges. It has made my transition into studying at the University of Auckland much easier. I became more familiar with the practical elements such as adjusting to a lecture, becoming familiar with the campus, and how to hand in assignments.

The course strengthened my skills in visual analysis and structuring University-type essays. I believe the experience of a University course is a great taste into the substance of the degree and its workload.

I encourage any High school student to take the Young Scholars Programme. It will give you an edge over other first-year students as you will obtain 15 points from the course. It is a great challenge towards extending your academic boundaries and will introduce you to new theories and ideas. And this particular course will help you when sitting the New Zealand Scholarship Art History Exam.

My advice is to keep an open mind towards the new artworks!