UniTalks: a podcast for university access

Join the IAI in breaking down the barriers of access to the world’s leading universities with UniTalks

We did it!

On 4th Jan 2018 we successfully raised £1,104 with 19 supporters in 51 days

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” - Nelson Mandela

Join the IAI in bringing their groundbreaking new podcast series to students, breaking down the barriers of access to the world’s leading universities.

Who are we?

We are the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI), an organisation committed to placing philosophy and big ideas at the heart of society, to be accessed, debated and challenged by all. Our work is founded on the belief that philosophy has the potential to empower everyone to navigate a brighter future in an increasingly dangerous and divided world.

What do we want to do?

We're  creating a new podcast series titled UniTalks for sixth-formers across the UK and beyond – to address the challenges of applying for, and studying at, highly selective universities, above and beyond the A-level curriculum. 

As part of the IAI’s Education programmes, the series will feature leading academics from the IAI's networks in conversation with sixth-formers from underrepresented backgrounds, unlocking access to cutting-edge research normally reserved for students at the world’s top universities. From particle physics and embryology to contemporary literature and political theory - students will have the chance to debate ideas and ask the questions which will shape the future for the next generations.

We are excited to be working in partnership with award-winning educational charity The Brilliant Club and Kings College London to kick-start this project. The Kings College London Agony Aunts will round off each episode by busting myths about subjects ranging from student finances to fitting in at university, and provide support for applications and the interviews and admissions tests themselves.  

What will your contribution support?

We need to raise £5,000 to enable us to bring this groundbreaking project to students for free. We want you to be a part of a collaborative approach to making this happen, and a unique opportunity to help sixth-formers access higher education and engage with big thinking.

By connecting students with our academics, our podcast will provide a unique insight into university life and academia for the benefit of sixth-formers from all walks of life. Your contribution will allow us to bring UniTalks to students across the UK and beyond, and ensure this important project can reach the young people it will benefit. Be a part of our mission to empower the voices of the next generation.

Keep an eye on this page as the journey takes off with our campaign.

First Episodes in UniTalks

Episode 1: Sailors and Stem Cells

16 year old Tom interviews Sir Ian Wilmut, Professor of Embryology at the University of Edinburgh and leader of the team that cloned Dolly the Sheep. Thomas hopes to become a doctor and asks Ian about the importance of ambition, the ethics of cloning, and how research on Dolly could save lives.

Episode 2: Dungeons and Dragons

 17 year old Stella from Camden interviews Robert Eaglestone, Professor in English Literature at Royal Holloway. The two discuss literary theory, the similarities of Science and English as fields of study, and how Dungeons and Dragons helped shape Robert's academic career.

Episode 3: Bananas and Antimatter

Sixth form student Riley interviews Professor Tara Shears, a world-leading particle physicist at Liverpool University and Large Hadron Collider researcher for CERN. Riley hopes to become a Forensic Scientist and asks Tara what it really takes to be a great scientist, how to cope with the disappointment of failed experiments and how bananas can help explain antimatter.

Available Rewards

Pledge today and you can enjoy one of many rewards, from an acknowledgement in the podcast to VIP tickets to our annual philosophy festival HowTheLightGetsIn. 

Visit https://iai.tv/education for more information about the IAI's Education programmes.

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