YOUNGSTERS had their first taste of academia when they visited a university.

Children from Beechwood Junior School, Shirley Junior School, Moorlands Primary School, St Mary’s Church of England Primary School and Harefield Primary School were taking part in the Steps into Success programme - which aims to raise aspirations for seven to 16 year olds from the poorest parts of the city.

Since 2015 the programme has engaged with 4,400 pupils. Solent university recruitment manager Tracy Edwards said: “Solent believes that every child with the ability to success should be able to take advantage of the benefits of higher education, whatever their social background. Our Step into Success programme is an important part of realising this and gives learners the chance to access a variety of activities, events and competitions, designed to instil a passion for learning and raise aspirations.”

Pupils toured the university, asked the vice chancellor questions and played games.

Leanne Ross, Moorlands Primary School assistant head, said: “Pupils now want to go to university.”