Why schools need to arrange more University events for their students
Now I would say schools need to engage more with higher education, as I run a website which facilitates just that. But hear me out on this one, with my top five reasons why:
Because of the number of students that choose to participate in higher education (and the percentage that drop-out):
Around 1 in 3 eighteen year olds will progress into higher education, with approaching half of students likely to progress to advanced studies by the age of 30.
Yet unfortunately around 6% of first year students start higher education and then drop out, in many cases because the decision was not right for them.
In any walk of life, if such a large number of people start something that will be subject to such a considerable investment (more on that below) we have a duty to prepare them well for it. Or in the case of those that do not participate, ensure they are making informed decisions not to do so.
Because of the investment involved:
University has both a financial commitment and a time commitment associated with it. People regularly talk about the cost being a financial one, but I think the cost is more about the time investment involved. Students won’t get the time back, but based on recent figures are unlikely to repay their full student loan balance within the current 30 year repayment period.
The most common degrees are three years in length – now that is a considerable time investment. It is important that a student is spending those years studying a subject they enjoy, and will subsequently benefit their career prospects. University visits and IAG will work to ensure that.
Because higher education is subject to so much external influence:
If you know a thing or two about university widening participation and fair access, you will know that there are many factors which will result in a student from a certain background being less likely to progress to higher education than another.
This puts a greater pressure on schools to address this and ensure students from all backgrounds are being presented with the information to make informed higher education decisions.
Because higher education is subject to so much change:
We’ve recently seen the new Teaching Excellence Framework, planned increase in the student loan repayment threshold, the two year degree drive and now we enter a university tuition fee review.
Universities host free events like teacher and adviser conferences to help keep colleagues in the school up to date, but students will need IAG as well, and events are a great way to facilitate that.
Because higher education outreach opportunities through universities are great (and generally free):
Universities will be able to meet your requirements for all manner of events – anything from a business masterclass, through to a personal statement talk or bespoke open day group visit. Essentially many of the higher education encounters stipulated in Gatsby benchmark 7.
Every university will have a school and college liaison team who will be delighted to speak to you about sessions and visits you have in mind, for all year groups. They are a great resource for you to take advantage of. I would encourage you to do so, for everyone’s benefit.