Earlier today I attended the ‘Opportunity: Captured?’ event and exhibition that I was invited along to through my work with the university outreach programme. I was not really sure what to expect when I entered the Nottingham Contemporary, however I was faced with an exhibition that featured images which were among dozens submitted to the Centre for Student and Community Engagement.
Films, artwork and photographs capture what ‘opportunity’ means to students, staff, pupils and friends of Nottingham Trent University and therefore I really enjoyed going along to show my support. Everyone utilises university differently to access a range of opportunities; I personally have valued getting involved in as many younger pupil led workshops and sessions, as well as throwing myself fully into getting the most out of my degree as I can.
The showcase really did display the differing interpretations of the question around opportunity and how this has had a positive impact on the individuals. Themes included female empowerment, trips abroad, how university has helped after graduating and fostering creativity in activities such as dance. It also opened my eyes to the opportunities NTU offer to students not within the university, including NTU Summer School and Art Clubs.
I did not previously know much about NTU’s innovative work on social mobility and therefore the exhibition was a great visual and interactive way to raise awareness around this work. I now realise that the uni was first to sign the Social Mobility Pledge and has since been selected to co-run a national evidence centre to determine ‘what works’ in social mobility in higher education.
Although the event was only in the Nottingham Contemporary, I feel that it is a great way to get students involved in a positive movement that will encourage future bodies of students to join NTU.