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  The International Summer School by Lesley Onuora


The International Summer School was the brain child of Penny Chaloner (Chemistry) (in the 1990’s?) and involved courses from all parts of the University which were run for a total of 8 weeks during the summer vacation for overseas students. Within this, Low Thomson developed 2 Introductory Physics modules (4 weeks each) which were designed to cover the whole of basic physics for mainly students from a Life Sciences background who required physics for entry into e.g. Pre Medicine.

The Physics Summer School started with a dozen or so students but was so successful that by the time I became involved in 2008 there were about 100 students. This number expanded rapidly till in 2013 it had increased to 270. Low’s original design and content for the programme, which included a significant element of practical work, remained, but such a large number of students required a complete overhaul of the logistics. Instead of 1 academic staff (Low) and an experienced technician (Maria Brook) plus a handful of undergraduates acting as demonstrators, there are now in 2016 about 6 academic staff, 3 technical staff and 30 undergraduate demonstrators. The programme has its own customized textbook and has become part of the core business of the School, rather than a periphery.

November 2016