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Children’s University Australasia & Africa (Indian Ocean) (Children’s University) provides opportunities and recognition for extra-curricular education to children aged between 5 and 18 years. Children can only aspire to what they know exists and Children’s University offers a navigation system to future opportunities through learning.

The model is simple: it offers superior educational experiences to children outside of school hours and recognizes their achievements through the award of formal certificates. The model leverages local educational and learning activity providers such as museums, theatres, school clubs and sports groups. Engaging a wide range of learning experiences and environments is proven to develop children’s self-efficacy, confidence and aspirations. Children are encouraged to explore new ideas, concepts and experiences. All Children’s University validated learning has a link to higher education. For example a school gardening club links to agronomy, micro-biology, botany, and food science.

Target schools are disadvantaged by location, socio-economic status, and the cultural make-up of the student body. Children’s University aims to break cycles of disadvantage through circumstance. Multiple independent evaluations show Children’s University members have improved school attendance rates by virtue of activities which enhance their school experience. They also achieve better academic results because of renewed self-confidence in their own potential. Outcomes show students enjoy learning more after participating in Children’s University because they extend their repertoire of interests and see learning in a new light.

Each member aged 5 to 14 receives a Passport to Learning where hours of extra-curricular activities are logged. Hours are accumulated and once the hours needed to graduate are achieved, members are presented with Children’s University certificates at a formal graduation ceremony held at their partner university. Students aged 15 to 18 receive a Passport to Volunteering and are encouraged to participate in Children’s University by volunteering to run clubs and activities, assist with events, and become a role model to younger students.

Benefits to School

Children's University involvement has been shown, by independent evaluation carried out by The University of Cambridge, to foster ten measures of success - the ‘10 As’.

Research has demonstrated that Children who participate in CU activities have, as a consequence, better attendance records than children in the same school who do not participate.


Perhaps the most significant measure of advocacy is the spontaneous adoption of CU internationally. Its international appeal and relevance is hugely significant.


CU participants attain more highly than non-CU counterparts. Evidence shows positive correlations between the time involved in CU activities and performance in tests and exams.


CU participants take on a wide range of learning experiences. This breadth of experience leads to achievement though personal accomplishment and through the depth of expertise gained.


Positive changes in attitudes for CU attendees has been a consistent finding through evaluations.


Being involved in CU provides opportunity for children to test themselves against more ambitious challenges, which has shown to encourage determination and perseverance.


The value of CU is also measured by adaptability - of children and young people, of teachers and schools, and of the educational system itself.


CU awards have their own special currency, as parents and children attest to the excitement of learning in new ways and in new contexts. Passports play a vital role.


CU participants are encouraged to develop a sense of power, decision making and initiative, allowing them to take control of their own learning journey.


To be able to succeed in other contexts, to visit places beyond one’s own immediate neighbourhood, to see the inside of a university is demonstrated in the data as extending horizons of the possible.


For more information about evaluation reports click here

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