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Merits of higher education championed

Law lecturer: James Slater, senior lecturer at the University of Buckingham

Higher education is “for everybody”, a visiting overseas law lecturer said yesterday.

James Slater, a senior lecturer at the University of Buckingham, said that it was essential that pupils not underestimate their potential. He added: “No society can neglect the social mobility that an open higher education system provides. It’s key.”

Dr Slater will be representing the university at the Bermuda International College and University Fair, which takes place today at the Berkeley Institute.

He said his visit to the island was also to rekindle the relationship between Bermuda and the university to help to promote the school. Dr Slater, 52, explained: “Although there is a fabulous network of alumni, you can’t rely on word of mouth alone.

“We should have been coming here more often, we should have been meeting with people and making those connection — and that’s what brought me back.”

He said that “dozens” of Bermudians had studied law at the school, which opened in 1976.

Dr Slater said that all postsecondary schools were interested in attracting high-quality students. He added: “Bermuda is just that kind of place.”

Dr Slater was speaking to The Royal Gazette yesterday after a visit to CedarBridge Academy.

He described the impression left by students as “very positive”.

Stops to private schools the Bermuda High School for Girls, Mount St Agnes and Saltus are also scheduled as part of the trip.

Dr Slater described the island’s secondary education system as “very good”.

He added: “It’s producing very good 18 and 19-year-olds. So any university would want to be here.”

Dr Slater said that Bermudian pupils should consider a law degree because it provided a broad range of knowledge that could be applied to a number of careers.

He added: “It’s a bit like the O blood group — it’s very compatible.”

Dr Slater said that law offered “a very diverse and challenging and rewarding career”.