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Queen Mary WP Youth Forum

In monthly meetings from October 2016 to March 2017, a group of young people came together on Queen Mary’s campus to critique university publicity materials aimed at teenagers, debate what made a piece of publicity effective, and ultimately come up with their own original digital poster.

The final poster design as conceived and voted for by Youth Forum participants

The Year 12 students travelled from eight different London boroughs and worked together in small groups and as a single forum, with meetings facilitated by Queen Mary staff and student ambassadors. 28 young people took part in the Youth Forum, with an average of 13 attendees per meeting.

The aims of the pilot scheme were:

  • To give young people a voice and sense of agency in outreach initiatives targeted at them;
  • To create opportunities for young people to gain skills and experience that will enrich their CV and university applications;
  • To ensure that our activities and publicity materials are well-designed to appeal to young people from our target groups.

The insight we have gained through the Youth Forum’s critical engagement with university publicity materials had been invaluable, and will influence how we advertise our programmes in the future.

At the same time, through taking part in the Youth Forum, participants gained experience of:

  • critiquing marketing materials, considering a wide range of different aspects of design;
  • working in both small and large groups to discuss issues and generate solutions;
  • working to a predefined brief to produce original publicity designs;
  • using different methods of voting to come to decisions collectively;
  • public speaking within a meeting setting.

Youth Forum participants indicated that they gained new skills and experience from taking part in the scheme:



Leaders are enthusiastic and involved with the discussion which helps individuals feel more comfortable with sharing their ideas
Youth forum participant 2017



I enjoy participating in the Youth Forum as I can use the creativity of my mind to come up with new answers
Youth forum participant 2017



Thank you for making me feel very welcome in the meetings
Youth Forum participant 2017
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