What next for higher education, personal statements and how universities support your future careers. With the University of Bath; City, University of London and University of South Wales.

Event summary

This webinar is hosted by Jon Cheek, the Founder and Director of UniTasterDays. Jon briefly introduces UniTasterDays, the kind of support UniTasterDays provide and how you can access useful information if you are considering going to university this year. This is followed by three guest speakers who touch on helpful topics for students, especially in the current uncertain climate.

Session 1: What next for higher education

The first speaker, Robbie Pickles, who is the head of UK and International UG Student Recruitment at the University of Bath speaks on the support that is available for students through Covid-19 who are considering higher education. He highlights the work universities are doing to support student during the current challenges. Not only does he touch upon students who were to sit their A-Levels, but also those who are enrolled onto other courses such as BTECs and even students who are in other parts of the world considering universities in the UK. One thing he places great emphasis on is that universities are aware of the diverse range of needs of different students and therefore the support they will provide in the current pandemic will consider the needs of different people. Each university will undoubtedly have their own individual response to this situation, and it is worth finding out how the university you are considering will respond. This is explained in more detail in the video by Robbie who notifies on the ways to access this information. He finally speaks about whether university will start like normal in September/October and the protocol surrounding this.

Session 2: Personal Statements

The second guest speaker is Rebecca Bowen, who is the Senior Student Recruitment Officer and Interim Head of Welsh at the university of South Wales. Her focus is on top tips for personal statements, as well as other applications. This is your opportunity to sell yourself to the university and Rebecca explains the effective ways this can be done. She highlights the two main things that are essential for you to answer in your personal statement which can make the difference between listing your skills and really showing your passion for the degree subject. Having come across many personal statements, she explains the clichés you should avoid which should be replaced with information which is course specific. Undoubtedly the opening line is one of the most challenging parts of a personal statement. Rebecca shares her top tip for ensuring this is something which is effective and sets the tone for the rest of the personal statement. She also touches on the ways to structure your personal statement and ensure it allows your strengths to shine through. An issue which is relevant to the current situation is the concern surrounding work experience for university. Rebecca points out the few ways you can work around this and still gain knowledge about your degree subject. Finally, she touches upon the do’s and don’ts for a strong personal statement.

Session 3: How universities can support your future career

The final guest speaker is Andy Cotterill, who is the UK Marketing and Recruitment Officer at City, University of London and talks about where your degree can take you. He focuses on the myths surrounding employability and degrees, the most common being degree qualifications provide no skills which employers look for. Not only does he debunk these but explains the variety of areas graduate can work in, regardless of their degree subject. Andy highlights the benefits for people who hold degrees in the employment sector, opposed to those who do not. He finally touches on top tips for students at university and how they can access career support.

Session summary from Rubaya Zaman, a final year English Literature student at the University of Birmingham

There were 360 registrations for the live event from students, teachers and school groups.

Event Q&A Transcript

Note from UniTasterDays – this is the Q and A transcript from the one hour event, and will consist of quick answers to sometimes complex questions. Please use this for guidance only – and of course contact the universities through formal channels for definitive information.

How important is it to study a course you enjoy? What if you end up regretting your choice?

Hi there, I would say this is really important to try and find something you enjoy and are really passionate about. I would recommend checking out taster videos on YouTube for example and trying to find out as much as you can about the course before applying.

As teachers are deciding our grades is there going to be any leniency with that and being able to go to the uni’s that we were trying to get into?

Hi, good question. This will very much depend on the university you apply to, and possibly the course as well. Every year, almost every university will apply some leniency when it comes to final grades. Many students get onto courses without achieving the exact offer universities originally made. This will often depend on the amount of space on the courses. Given the current situation, I expect many universities will be sympathetic to applicants and will want to give similar leniency, or maybe more leniency. This would be a good thing to ask universities about, to see what might be possible.

I would really like to go to uni in London but also want a campus uni. Are there any?

There are a few around, City has all its teaching in one space which can create a campus feel. There are also others such as Queen Mary or Brunel which are more campus-based but tend to be further out from the centre of the city.

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Event Recorded: Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at 12:00

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