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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

BSMS virtual work experience shortlisted for THE award

BSMS > About BSMS > News > BSMS virtual work experience shortlisted for THE award

BSMS virtual work experience shortlisted for THE award

The Widening Participation and Outreach team have been shortlisted in the Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year category for their virtual work experience (VWEX) programme.

VWEX provides aspiring medics, regardless of their background and social capital, the opportunity to engage in medicine-related work “experience” and has seen more than 56,150 participants from across the globe sign up since its launch in January 2020. 

Claire Johnson, Widening Participation and Outreach Manager at BSMS says: “As a team we are so excited that the VWEX has been shortlisted for a THE Award. Over the last 18 months it has been incredibly hard for aspiring medics to get practical work experience due to the pandemic. The VWEX has provided an opportunity for students to learn about the NHS and five different areas of medicine, not only in the UK but from across the world, slightly different from the Sussex-based programme we had initially envisioned!

“We have been pleased at the success and popularity of the programme and we have worked extremely hard reviewing the student’s reflective pieces and maintaining the platform. It is great to be getting recognised for the huge amount of effort that we have put in to developing and running the programme.”

Plastic heart sitting on a table

Data analysis from pre- and post-course surveys demonstrates a learning gain in many key areas such as users’ confidence in knowledge of the NHS values and the key skills required by doctors and healthcare professionals. There also appears to be a small dispelling of the myth that work experience in a hospital setting is necessary to get into medical school. Delving a little further into the analysis, statistical analysis shows the positive impact the programme is having on those from the most disadvantaged areas of England, above and beyond those residing in more affluent areas.

The programme was developed by the Widening Participation and Outreach team, along with alumnus Jake Bush, who is currently a junior doctor. 

The 2021 awards are the 17th annual THE Awards, with the ceremony taking place on the evening of 25 November 2021 in central London. There are 20 categories in total, covering a wide range of university activity across leadership and management, administration, and academia. These awards focus primarily on activity during the 2019-20 academic year, and so include a large number of submissions based on the initial response of institutions to the unique and wide-ranging challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic. Nearly 600 institutions, teams or individuals were nominated in total, which is a record number for the awards.   

find out more about the vwex here >