Case Study Serena Williams, University of Roehampton Student Ambassador

Student Ambassador, Serena Williams

Serena is a third year BA Primary Education student at the University of Roehampton. We have worked with Serena on several on-campus visits this year as a Student Ambassador and she is very passionate about helping the younger generations, especially learners with a learning difference. Serena shared her journey of support throughout her education, as a learner with a learning difference at our recent Get ready for Success conference.

Tell us about your education journey, how did you choose your course and university?

I attended an all-through school and went onto study art for a year before moving to the University of Roehampton. I chose primary education as I had an opportunity to volunteer in a primary school which I really enjoyed, and it made me consider becoming a teacher.

The reasons I chose Roehampton were, first the location and campus. I love green spaces and natural landscape and it is very close to Central London, which is great as I enjoy going to the West End, it’s also not too far from home. Second, I like how Roehampton offer a wider range of specialisms on the course. I am interested in becoming an art and design specialist, and many other universities typically only offer Maths and English as a specialism.

How did you find out about Aimhigher?

I found out about Aimhigher through my Student Ambassador work. Towards the end of my second year, I started to be heavily involved with Aimhigher London visits from schools and really enjoy talking to the learners.

What would be your main advice for learners with a disability and/or learning difference who want to go to university?

My main advice is to do the research on the universities that you are thinking about attending and what kind of services they offer for learners with disabilities or learning differences. Reaching out to them can provide a good indication of what support may be available to help with academic life (such as extra-time for assignments and exams) and everyday life as a student (such as mentoring and being able to live in accessible accommodation). I would also highly recommend visiting the campus of the university on an open day, if possible. You will be able to get a feel for the environment and whether it is suitable for your specific needs.

What is next for you?

I plan to start working once I have graduated. My career plans have changed slightly since I started the course but I have learnt a lot of transferable skills, such as organisation and time management, which are useful for any career path. I have really enjoyed my time at university and I feel that I have been well-supported as a student with learning differences. I am looking forward to the next phase of my life.

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