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Leicester - Aspiring to halls of academe

The predominance of left-handedness among America's presidents was just one of the topics a group of nine-year-olds was asked to contemplate during a day of "critical thinking" at Leicester University.

The pupils, from Inglehurst Junior and Parks Primary schools in the city, contemplated the question during a visit designed to test their analytical, reasoning and arguing skills.

The children, who will not attend university for another nine years, were given a campus tour and met students to find out about life in the halls of academe.

They investigated statements such as, "Including President Obama, five of the most recent seven US presidents have been left-handed," and were asked what they could infer from this.

The visit was part of a programme of outreach activities organised by the university in a combined Gifted Talented and Aimhigher initiative.

It aims to raise aspirations and awareness of higher education for pupils living in the most deprived postcode areas of the city and county, as well as give children a snapshot of university life and a taste of a subject they want to study. IB.

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