Dr Helen Kwan
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Dr Helen Kwan Consultant (China and HK). Not-for-profit organisation, charitable status; established 50+ years Professional workforce of c. 100 qualified careers guidance professionals backed up by functional staff DipCG or QCG qualified guidance team

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Dr Helen Kwan Consultant (China and HK)

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Dr Helen Kwan

Consultant (China and HK)

  • Not-for-profit organisation, charitable status; established 50+ years

  • Professional workforce of c. 100 qualified careers guidance professionals backed up by functional staff

    • DipCG or QCG qualified guidance team

    • Internal professional development programme

  • Board of Trustees committed to furthering the quality of careers guidance and skills development support to young people across the UK and internationally

  • Strong links and partnerships with business and higher education

  • Specialist and innovative services to raise aspirations and raise achievement - Futurewise

Background to the Foundation

Applying to University

  • As a key influencer in their lives, you play a major role in the decision making process, along with teachers, advisers and their peers among others.

  • The guidance that you provide your child at all stages of their education will be invaluable to their eventual academic achievements and their long term outcomes.

  • In order to help your child in choosing a degree course and an institution in which to take it, it is important that you are aware of all aspects of the application process.

  • Find a course that matches your talents, interest, personality and career aspirations

  • Work experiences gained in the area of possible career pathways

  • Attend university open days

  • Compare subjects and universities

    • Unistat Website http://www.unistats.direct.gov.uk(extensive information of over 31,000 courses in the UK, including student satisfaction rating, graduate salaries and employment, tuition fees and cost of accommodation etc.)

    • Entry Profile at UCAS Website (details about courses, the university offering each course, entry qualifications, selection criteria and the admission policy)

How to decide on University, course of study?

What is UCAS?

  • Universities and College Admissions Services

  • It manages the application process to UK Universities and Colleges, but doesn’t decide offers and admissions

  • Every May, UCAS website lists the universities and courses available

  • Online application form – up to 5 choices

  • Universities you apply to won’t get to see what else and where else you applied for

The Application Process

  • 1. Timing

  • Applications begin in September for courses to start the following year . It is best to apply early although the deadline is 15 January … normally before Winter Break.

  • Cambridge and Oxford (Oxbridge) and universities offering medicine, dentistry and veterinary science have an earlier application date (currently 15 October). Oxbridge require students to complete their own application form in addition to the UCAS one. Art courses have different admissions criteria too with later application dates - currently 24 March for some art and design courses.


The Application Process … cont.

2. Completing the Application Form

On the application, your child will need to supply details of exam results already gained (or the school will submit a list of predicted grades) as well as a reference from a person in authority at the school.

Your child will also need to submit a personal statement which highlights his/her achievements, hopes, attributes and work experience along with reasons for choosing the course, and anything else to make the application stand out against others.


The Application Process … cont.

  • 3. Responses

  • After submission, UCAS sends out acknowledgement of receipt, though your child can track the progress of the application via UCAS website.

  • 4 possible responses in the Spring term:

  • An unconditional offer

  • A conditional offer (upon exam grades)

  • A rejection

  • An interview


The Application Process … cont.

  • 4. Decision Making

  • By May at the latest each university should have made its decision one way or another. Once the last one has decided, UCAS sends your child a summary of the responses from all of the choices

  • By June, your child will decide which 2 offers to keep

  • “firm” acceptance

  • “insurance” acceptance


UCAS Tariff Scores

  • UCAS Tariff allows students to use a range of different qualifications (for example, A-levels, IB as well as HKDSE) to help secure a place on an undergraduate course

  • IB Diploma Points /UCAS Tariff Scores

  • 45 = 720

  • 44 = 698

  • 43 = 676

  • 42 = 654 … and so on


UCAS Tariff Scores … cont.

  • IB Single Subject/UCAS Tariff scores

  • Level 7: HL = 130 / SL = 70

  • Level 6: HL = 110 / SL = 59

  • Level 5: HL = 80 / SL = 43 … and so on

  • However, conditional offers usually in the following format

    • For example, admission to read Law at Cambridge

    • A total of 40 out of 45

    • including a 7 in Higher Level English and 7 in Higher level History or Economics

  • B

    Admissions Test

    • In addition to UCAS Tariff Scores, some courses also require particular admissions test … to name a few

    • BMAT – Bio Medical Admissions Test (for entry to medicine, veterinary medicine and biomedical science courses)

    • UKCAT – UK Clinical Aptitude Test (for entry to medical and dental schools)

    • LNAT – The National Admission Test for Law (for entry to law in a number of universities, mostly the Russell Group)

    • STEP – Sixth Term Examination Papers (for entry to math at the University of Cambridge, University College London and University of Warwick)

    to the Foundation

    We are here to help …

    What is Careers Guidance

    Career Guidance refers to services and activities intended to assist individuals of any age and at any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices, and to manage their careers

    (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development – OECD 2004)

    North Star – with the end in mind

    7 career-building factors

    • Dreams and aspirations

    • Abilities and talents

    • Interests and passion

    • Personality

    • Skills and knowledge

    • Culture and values

    • Family background and support

    What is psychometric testing/profiling?

    In Greek:

    psychos = mind, mental, spirit; metros = measure

    Psychometric assessments are strictly timed structured tests, which gives reliable and objective information to help you to understand more about yourself – your abilities, personality, interests and more.

    It provides you with a strong sense of direction in planning for future education and career pathways.

    The Profiling Process

    • Futurewise starts with an interest questionnaire to find out what students currently find important

    • Then follows a morning of tasks – the Futurewise profile

    • This is designed to find out about natural abilities and aptitudes

    • The psychologists at the Morrisby organisation process the results to generate reports

      There is no homework or preparation!

    The Futurewise Report

    • Aim - to stimulate discussion

    • Providesobjectiveinformation

    • Looks at different types of intelligence

    • Looks at the profile patternnot the scores

    • Measurespotential...not necessarily achievement

    • Complementsother information already known

    Your Profile

    Problem Solving

    Processing Information

    Practical abilities


    Work Personality

    - How you apply yourself

    How does it help in school?

    • Assists with subject choices e.g. IB / A Levels

    • Helps to recognise preferred learning styles

    • Enhance study and revision skills

    • Maximise results by

      - identifying appropriate styles

      - focusing subject choices

      - highlighting potential.

    Beyond school?

    • Identifying learning styles & study skills are important in distinguishing university options e.g. subjects and assessment – practical versus theoretical paths

    • Career suggestions may broaden ideas and show the links between careers and the subjects required for them

    • Reflect on personal strengths and skills

    • Shows a range of opportunities which can be explored.

    What happens next?

    • An interview

    • Use a personal ID to register on


    • The Profile results are online in a personal space

    • Consider the Career Suggestions in the context of the Profile

    • Use ‘What next?’ over the next few years to progress your Research and Choices. Includes Study worldwide options and International students accessing UK entry

    • Futurewise help and support till you are 23 wherever you are based

    And then?

    • Use the online web spaces in two ways:

    • To research information about study worldwide via country flags and web links. Look at any careers which appeal to find out more.

    • Enter information which you can be used later when preparing a CV or résumé e.g. examination results,

      activities outside school.

      Futurewise can assist via the Helpline and contact up to the age of 23 wherever students are based.


    • Personal web space for all student members - accessed via a unique password


    After you log on you will be able to view

    The Profile online

    and find the Career


    Portable filing cabinet

    Your school will give out information on the sign up for FUTUREWISE in due course

    After this session, I will be in the Hall to answer your questions

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