Banner image for national review survey

 by Jon Cheek
, posted On 14 Mar '19
 Director, UniTasterDays.com

The Results - Mapping the coverage and cold spots in the university information, advice and guidance provided by schools and colleges

UniTasterDays.com, the university events website for schools and colleges, has today published the results of a national review survey which explores the university information, advice and guidance provided in secondary schools and colleges in England.

The survey, which was developed in collaboration with HELOA, looks at the key aspects of university and school liaison. This includes the time period when university guidance in schools and colleges commences and the activities that are offered, what schools consider to be the greatest barrier to higher education participation for their students, and the challenges schools face when arranging university events.

The results compare activity by both school and college type and region, and subsequently identify any variations and cold spots in service delivery. This will be of interest to schools and colleges, universities, and local and national government. This is particularly relevant following the introduction of the Careers Strategy and the new Gatsby Benchmarks by the Department for Education in December 2017.

The Key Findings

Key findings, following feedback from approaching 750 members of school and college staff, which provide a representative sample of secondary schools and colleges in England, include:

• Finance was cited as the main barrier to arranging university visits for schools and colleges, with transport costs believed to be the greatest obstacle, followed by the cost of booking events through external organisations.

• Finance is also considered by schools and colleges to be the largest barrier to university for students, with 62 per cent of respondents indicating that the tuition fee and living expenses were the most prominent reason their students may not be considering university participation.

• 59 per cent of schools are starting their university engagement between Years 7 and 9. However, 38 per cent of students do not engage in these activities until they reach Year 10 or above, and after students make their GCSE option choices.

• 84 per cent of schools and colleges rated the university information, advice and guidance provided to students by their institution to be ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’.

• 85 per cent of respondents indicated that they had confidence in their School or College ability to advise students relating to university opportunities.

Download the full report

The results from this national review will be of interest to schools, colleges, universities and government, with particular reference to the identification of cold spots in university guidance regionally.

The full set of results in the report are of course much more detailed, but it is really pleasing to see that the vast majority of schools and colleges are committed to providing a positive level of engagement for their students, to help students make informed decisions about university and the options available to them.

The full 35 page report, including Executive Summary can be downloaded by clicking this link (PDF - 2MB)

"NEON welcomes this report from UniTasterDays. It underlines the important role that schools and further education can play in widening access and reaffirms the need for ensuring higher education maintains strong working relationships, and that pupils need to start finding out about higher education at an early age”
Dr Graeme Atherton - Director of the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON)
“This is a nice report, it is particularly helpful as some schools are reporting difficulties making progress towards Gatsby Benchmark 7 and this confirms why”
Steve Stewart OBE – Executive Director, Careers England


Teachers, careers colleagues and support staff: request your FREE UniTasterDays Teachers' Guide to University

This Teachers’ Guide has been produced by UniTasterDays.com in collaboration with HELOA. It has been developed based on the higher education system in England.

Editorial has been provided by colleagues at universities throughout the UK, as well as experts outside of higher education. This includes MoneySavingExpert Martin Lewis’s exclusive content on university fees and finance and content from The Student Room about what students studying at university wish they were told about university whilst they were at school!

What else can you expect in the Teachers’ Guide?

This 36 page guide includes advice for teachers on UCAS applications, what universities look for in applications, the different types of events schools can book for their students, university fees and finance, university offers, the Gatsby benchmarks, university support for parents and much, much, more!

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