We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

We need to make sure students are well informed about their options post 16

Apprenticeships Careers Narrowing the gap Post 16 University Volunteer mentors What's new? Work experience Young people

Post 16 options

Every young person is required to be in some form of education or training from the ages of 16-18. These years can be an incredibly exciting period, as young people for the first time are in full control over what subjects and qualifications they take. It is an opportunity to begin specialising in certain areas/subjects and to truly begin down the road to independence and adulthood. We at GT Scholars think it essential for all students to know the options that are available to them post 16, so we’ve made a list to help young people make the right choice for themselves. There is most certainly something for everyone.

A levels –

A levels are the next step for many young people post 16. They are subject-based qualifications, taken at school or college, that open up a variety of options later on. Universities and employers hold A level qualifications in high regard. They are a particularly good stepping stone towards university, as they offer a bridge between the teaching styles of schools and universities. A levels are a great academic challenge and give students the chance to further enhance their knowledge of familiar subjects such as English, Maths, History etc, or perhaps to delve into subjects that they may not have come across at school, such as Psychology or Politics.

Vocational Courses –

Another college-based post 16 option are vocational courses. They are different from A levels in that they typically are more hands-on, practical qualifications. They are specialist qualifications which focus on specific subject and employment areas, a few examples from the long list being business, social care and hairdressing . Vocational courses can help students gain employment skills and also provide a path towards a variety of university courses. They are a respected and well-established option post 16.

Apprenticeships –

Apprenticeships are gaining popularity in the UK, as more and more young people are recognising their value as a legitimate alternative to A-Levels. They offer something very different; practical, hands-on experience in a workplace. The skills you gain through apprenticeships are mostly job-specific and offer a fantastic route towards eventual full-time employment in your industry of choice. As an apprentice you can gain qualifications whilst working and earning money. The scope of apprenticeships has widened in recent years, with roles now available in a wide variety of sectors from engineering to IT to business. The modern apprenticeship is a challenging, rewarding and dynamic post 16 option.

Below are a list of links with further information to help you make the right choice for you-

https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/info/your-choices-at-16
https://www.ucas.com/ucas/16-18-choices/getting-started/what-are-my-options
https://www.allaboutschoolleavers.co.uk/articles/article/100/post-16-options
https://www.connexions-tw.co.uk/moving-forward-options-post-16

7 things to think about when choosing a university

7 things to think about when choosing a university

University What's new? Young people

University can be one of the most exciting and rewarding times in your life. But before you get there, there is the challenge of choosing the right university.

I went through the application process a few years ago and understand how tough and stressful it can be. So here are some tips to help the aspiring university student make the right decision

1. Take your time: Choosing the right university is important. Remember you will be studying there for, most likely, three years. Don’t leave the process to the last minute. Deciding where you want to study can be tough, so give yourself the luxury of time to think it over. It may be worth thinking about this as early as Year 9 or 10. Click here to read a blog about achieving your goals by starting with the end in mind.

2. Look at league tables: League tables can be a good indicator as to the overall rating and reputation of a university as well as the quality of any given course. There are a number of respected league tables published every year, such as The Complete University Guide, the Guardian University Guide and The Times Good University Guide. Also, note that different universities excel at different subjects, so make sure you research the reputation of your potential universities in regards to your chosen subject.

3. Do your research! Make sure you research your potential universities thoroughly. University websites usually contain a lot of detail about the institution and its history and values. You can also read the university’s prospectus online or order one to arrive by post. Some universities will require that you apply earlier than the usual deadline, other universities operate a collegiate system and expect you to choose a college when applying. Some universities expect you to take an additional entrance exam before being accepted on the course. Remember that the more you know about your potential university, the more confident you will be that you are making the right choice.

4. Attend open days. Make sure you attend a handful of open days, so that you have some comparisons. Going to visit a university is the only way you will get a true feel for what life will be like there. The day I stepped onto the campus at the University of Kent, was the day I knew where I wanted to study and spend the next three years of my life. At an open day you get a chance to meet and talk to staff and students and also tour the university campus. Statistics and league tables tell us something, but the first-hand experience of a visit will help paint a more detailed picture of what a university has to offer.

5. Lifestyle & location: Don’t forget to think about location when choosing a university. Ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want outside of your studies? Some may favour living in a big city with a vibrant and varied nightlife. Others may prefer a low key, relaxed environment. You may also want to consider how far away from home you are prepared to live. Some students choose to live at home with their family during their time at university, others want to live within a short distance from home and others are quite happy to move much further away.

6. Societies, Sports & Extracurricular activities: There are usually hundreds of societies in each university and some universities have world-renowned facilities to support these activities eg. Sports at Loughborough University. You won’t be spending all your time studying so if there’s an activity that you enjoy and want to continue at university, it may be worth looking into the university that will support you with this. If you don’t have an extra-curricular that you are particularly interested in, it may be worth looking at the university list of societies to have a think about the kinds of activities that you would want to take part in, in your free time.

7. What else is on offer: Some universities have really good exchange programmes where you can study abroad as part of your course. Some universities have an excellent careers fair and a career centre to support you with getting internships and finding a graduate job. Some universities have really good bursaries which could reduce the cost of your course. Others allow you to take credits as part of your degree so you can study Biology and take some credits in Music (if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for!). Wherever you choose to study, make sure that you look into any other added benefits as this will really help with your decision making.

We hope this is helpful to anyone that’s thinking about going to university in the next couple of years. For more hints and tips on universities and careers, visit the GT Scholars blog www.gtscholars.org/blog

 

Choosing a university course? 5 tips from a recent graduate to help you make the right choice

Choosing a university course? 5 tips from a recent graduate to help you make the right choice

Growth mindset University What's new? Young people

So you’ve been working really hard preparing for university, you’re pretty sure you’ll get the grades and maybe you even know which university you’ll go to… but there’s a huge decision you need to make. Which university course will you study?

According to UCAS, there are 37,000 undergraduate courses at over 370 universities across the UK. There are many factors that that need to be taken into consideration when deciding the course that is right for you. We’ve written a list of 5 things you should consider when choosing your future degree course.

  1. Choose something you are passionate about

This tip may seem obvious but I can’t stress this enough. Remember that you’ll be spending at least three years studying your chosen subject. If you aren’t passionate about your subject then you’ll likely find it much harder to motivate yourself and you won’t enjoy the experience. A mixture of passion for your subject and hard work will stand you in great stead for your time at university.

  1. Look at the course content

It’s essential to research the specific details of your course. You may find that one university has modules in your subject that interest you far more than the modules in the same subject at another university. Be sure to look at the second and third year modules, as well as the first year as this will give a good indication of the direction of your course.

  1. Check league tables & specialities

League tables can be a good indicator as to the quality of any given course. There are a number of respected league tables published every year, such as Also, note that different universities excel at different subjects, so make sure you research the reputation of your potential universities in regards to your chosen subject.

  1. Think about your career direction

  It may seem a little early to think about career decisions but keep in mind the paths your course opens up for you. It is an obvious point, but some professions need people with degrees in specific subjects, so if you know what you want to do later in life, you may want to tailor your qualification to that profession. If you are not sure what you want to do in later life, don’t panic. A degree opens up a lot more paths than it closes, and you are not limited to working in a career which directly relates to your degree.   

Look into degrees that offer something unique: There are a large number of degrees in the UK that offer unique opportunities such as sandwich placements where you spend a year working in a company, usually between your second and third year. Other degrees offer add on credits so that you can graduate with a double degree or you can graduate with a degree plus a language. Another popular choice is a degree with the opportunity to study abroad for a year. This can be an excellent opportunity to meet new travel the world, meet new people and complete your degree at the same time.

We hope this gives you a good idea of how to get started with your search for a degree course. For more hints and tips on universities and careers, visit the GT Scholars blog www.gtscholars.org/blog

 

7 things to think about when choosing a university

7 things to think about when choosing a university

Post 16 University What's new?

University can be one of the most exciting and rewarding times in your life. But before you get there, there is the challenge of choosing the right university.

I went through the application process a few years ago and understand how tough and stressful it can be. So here are some tips to help the aspiring university student make the right decision

  • Take your time: Choosing the right university is important. Remember you will be studying there for, most likely, three years. Don’t leave the process to the last minute. Deciding where you want to study can be tough, so give yourself the luxury of time to think it over. It may be worth thinking about this as early as Year 9 or 10. Click here to read a blog about achieving your goals by starting with the end in mind.
  • Look at league tables: League tables can be a good indicator as to the overall rating and reputation of a university as well as the quality of any given course. There are a number of respected league tables published every year, such as The Complete University Guide, the Guardian University Guide and The Times Good University Guide. Also, note that different universities excel at different subjects, so make sure you research the reputation of your potential universities in regards to your chosen subject.
  • Do your research! University websites contain a lot of detail about the institution, its history and values. You can also read the university’s prospectus online or order one to arrive by post. Some universities will require you to apply earlier than the usual deadline, other universities operate a collegiate system and expect you to choose a college when applying. Some universities expect you to take an additional entrance exam before being accepted on the course. Remember that the more you know about your potential university, the more prepared you will be with your application.
  • Attend open days. Make sure you attend a handful of open days, so that you have some comparisons. Going to visit a university is the only way you will get a true feel for what life will be like there. The day I stepped onto the campus at the University of Kent, was the day I knew where I wanted to study and spend the next three years of my life. At an open day you get a chance to meet and talk to staff and students and also tour the university campus. Statistics and league tables tell us something, but the first-hand experience of a visit will help paint a more detailed picture of what a university has to offer.
  • Lifestyle & location: Don’t forget to think about location when choosing a university. Ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want outside of your studies? Some may favour living in a big city with a vibrant and varied nightlife. Others may prefer a low key, relaxed environment. You may also want to consider how far away from home you are prepared to live. Some students choose to live at home with their family during their time at university, others want to live within a short distance from home and others are quite happy to move much further away.
  • Societies, Sports & Extracurricular activities: There are usually hundreds of societies in each university and some universities have world-renowned facilities to support these activities eg. Sports at Loughborough University. You won’t be spending all your time studying so if there’s an activity that you enjoy and want to continue at university, it may be worth looking into the university that will support you with this. If you don’t have an extra-curricular that you are particularly interested in, it may be worth looking at the university list of societies to have a think about the kinds of activities that you would want to take part in, in your free time.
  • What else is on offer: Some universities have really good exchange programmes where you can study abroad as part of your course. Some universities have an excellent careers fair and a career centre to support you with getting internships and finding a graduate job. Some universities have really good bursaries which could reduce the cost of your course. Others allow you to take credits as part of your degree so you can study Biology and take some credits in Music (if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for!). Wherever you choose to study, make sure that you look into any other added benefits as this will really help with your decision making.

We hope this is helpful to anyone that’s thinking about going to university in the next couple of years. For more hints and tips on universities and careers, visit the GT Scholars blog www.gtscholars.org/blog

Choosing a university course? 5 tips from a recent graduate to help you make the right choice

Choosing a university course? 5 tips from a recent graduate to help you make the right choice

Post 16 University What's new?

So you’ve been working really hard preparing for university, you’re pretty sure you’ll get the grades and maybe you even know which university you’ll go to… but there’s a huge decision you’ll need to make. Which university course will you study?

According to UCAS, there are 37,000 undergraduate courses at over 370 universities across the UK. There are many factors that that need to be taken into consideration when deciding the course that is right for you. We’ve written a list of 5 things you should consider when choosing your future degree course.

1. Choose something you are passionate about

This tip may seem obvious but I can’t stress this enough. Remember that you’ll be spending at least three years studying your chosen subject. If you aren’t passionate about your subject then you’ll likely find it much harder to motivate yourself and you won’t enjoy the experience. A mixture of passion for your subject and hard work will stand you in great stead for your time at university.

2. Look at the course content

It’s essential to research the specific details of your course. You may find that one university has modules in your subject that interest you far more than the modules in the same subject at another university. Be sure to look at the second and third year modules, as well as the first year as this will give a good indication of the direction of your course.

3. Check league tables & specialities

League tables can be a good indicator as to the quality of any given course. There are a number of respected league tables published every year, such as The Complete University Guide, the Guardian University Guide and The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide. Also, note that different universities excel at different subjects, so make sure you research the reputation of your potential universities in regards to your chosen subject.

4. Think about your career direction

It may seem a little early to think about career decisions but keep in mind the paths your course opens up for you. It is an obvious point, but some professions need people with degrees in specific subjects, so if you know what you want to do later in life, you may want to tailor your qualification to that profession. If you are not sure what you want to do in later life, don’t panic. A degree opens up a lot more paths than it closes, and you are not limited to working in a career which directly relates to your degree.

5. Look into degrees that offer something unique

There are a large number of degree courses in the UK that offer unique opportunities such as sandwich placements where you spend a year working in a company, usually between your second and third year. Other degrees offer credits so that you can graduate with a degree in more than one subjet eg Music degree with Spanish. Another popular choice is a degree with the opportunity to study abroad for a year. This can be an excellent opportunity to travel the world, meet new people and complete your degree at the same time.

We hope this gives you a good idea of how to get started with your search for a degree course. For more hints and tips on universities and careers, visit the GT Scholars blog www.gtscholars.org/blog