Insights Into A University Education

Experience  Vision 2020 

Insights Into A University Education

A group of international and local high school students had a taste of tertiary life this week at Bond University by engaging in a number of academic challenges. The High School to University Experience is a partnership between Bond University and local Education Queensland International schools, funded through Study Gold Coast’s Vision 2020 initiative. The experience is designed to give secondary students an idea of what studying at university on the Gold Coast is like.

The program provides study abroad and graduating students from EQI schools an appreciation of what studying at university is like on the Gold Coast and the exciting study opportunities available. Five schools participated in the day’s program – Miami, Elanora, Merrimac, Benowa and Southport State High. Following a brief induction from Bond University’s International Manager Calvin Masson, the students took part in a series of workshops run by Bond’s faculties of Medicine and Society and Design.

Unlocking the Key to Disease

During the Adventures in Drug Design session students discovered how medicines are sourced and created in Bond’s Anatomy Lab. After learning that drugs can only work by interacting with either proteins or enzymes, they searched an online protein database which showed how and why only certain drugs will only work with particular receptors “like keys fitting into locks”. With the knowledge that 10,256 drugs have been identified by humans to date and that we’re still only scratching the surface, the high school students entered a world of infinite possibilities through this engaging workshop.

Students explore Adventures in Drug Design

Bond’s Faculty of Society and Design ran two workshops on the day. The first one looked at negotiation through the eyes of a global diplomat using a hypothetical scenario with the students split into opposing camps and then having to resolve the diplomatic crisis through negotiation. As each side contested the other’s position the workshop took on the air of a virtual courtroom. The students soon learnt that there’s more to diplomacy than how opposing states interact with each other with the words of Nelson Mandela ringing in their ears: “negotiation and discussion are the greatest weapons we have for promoting peace and development”. 

Spotting A Lie 

The second workshop was an exercise in determination, with students effectively forming a jury by watching a series of filmed testimonies. Without knowing the facts behind the incident students were asked to identify verbal and non-verbal expressions in an attempt to ascertain who was telling the truth and who wasn’t.

Student Jury

Research evidence suggests that humans are not particularly good at detecting deception, but then neither are technological aids like voice analysis and polygraphs. It was challenging to decide which testimonials were truthful or only partially so, highlighting the difficulties investigators and juries face in determining the truth. With most of our novice jury getting it wrong there was some consolation in the knowledge that around only 3% of people are naturally good at detecting liars.

Interactive Experience

Bond runs four of these events a year, each one different. In putting the program together in collaboration with Study Gold Coast, Bond University worked with focus groups to determine what kinds of experiences students might enjoy.

Calvin Masson says this is the second experience they’ve held this year and notes that there’s plenty of familiar faces: “The overarching goal is to get our students to have a fun and interactive experience, so that they walk away going man, that was fun. University is awesome here, I want to study at university on the Gold Coast!”