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Student Life Arriving and Surviving…..

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  1. Student LifeArriving and Surviving….. James Seymour Head of Schools and Colleges Liaison Aston University, Birmingham j.r.seymour@aston.ac.uk

  2. UCAS Applicant Strategy • 5 choices, NOT too late to apply to UCAS or to use up 5 choices • AAB offers/scholarships? • Realistic but positive choices • “Blind” Choices • Beware grade inflation • AS grades? • Flexibility at Results Confirmation: eg last year • Split choices? • special cases – medics, dentists, vets • UCAS Extra: March-June – have to be released from all offers or had all rejections first

  3. When the offers come: October 2012-March 2013 • Deciding CF (Firm), CI (Insurance) • CF simply the best?! NOT just the highest grade offer • CI not second best but “almost first choice” • how “low” do you go? • do you need/want a CI? It’s a hassle to be released – would you definitely go there if you missed the grades for a CF? • c10% of Aston CI students last year chose a “lower grade” offer as CF and Aston as CI – it may not be possible to change

  4. UCAS Applicant Strategy - Case Study Student wants to study Psychology, hopes to achieve around BBB/ABB at A level –Typical offers are: • Oxford at AAA?, Bath at AAB-AAA? • Aston at ABB-AAB? • Nottingham Trent at BBC-BBB, Swansea at BBB? • How “low”? • Some excellent courses with lower entry grades • Important to encourage visits/open days – especially at post-application stage in Dec-March. • Weekend/half term options

  5. Realistic but positive…. • Vast majority get 4 or more offers (80% plus) • Applications per place – don’t forget students are making 4 other applications! • Check entry requirements and specific requirements (eg A/AS/BTEC/GCSE) • eg: Aston: c12,000 applications for c2000 places: c80% of applicants received conditional offers, average entry BBB-AAB, 33-34 points at IB

  6. UK Government Campaigns/Websites

  7. A few facts about money - the 2013 proposals University fee cap increased to £9,000 per year for 2013 entry. Most are charging £7-9,000 or more to cover their costs Gov’t teaching funding to be cut for all courses, and by 100% for some subjects – to be replaced by Graduate contribution to fees. Universities will have to demonstrate commitment to fair access and outreach activities, National Scholarship Programme (NSP) Grants for incomes up to £42,000, extensive student loans for fees and living expenses for all UK students – no fees up front. Fees paid back on graduation, not upfront/during the course, and over 10-30 years at less than 5% of their net salary. Fees and loans only paid back if graduates earn more than £21,000

  8. Spending it and making it last ….. Living away from home & outside London 2013)

  9. Student Residence Fees at Aston University 2011-1239 week contracts, first year guarantee on campus Stafford Tower – on campus £72 p.w. (£2,808 per year) c350 rooms with shared bathrooms (washbasin in room) En-suite Residences – on campus Lakeside: £110p.w. (£4.290 per year) 647 rooms New Residences (Opened Sept 2010): 1306 rooms 7 bedroom flats: £115 per week (£4,485) 5 bedroom premium flats: £125 per week (£4,875)

  10. Other sources of funding – Part Time & Vacation Work • Start saving now in school/college....even if only £10 a week • Keep up work contacts when you begin your course for subsequent student employment. • 13 weeks free next summer and long vacations while at University (c20 weeks per year) • Student Union Bar/Shop, Supermarkets, Pubs, Student Union/Guild Jobshop/Employment Agencies • This is now the norm and it is mostly Tax Free • Term-time employment allowed and OK but try not to work more than 15 hours a week (£70-100 per week!) – otherwise it will affect your studies and social life. • Sandwich programmes – check on salaries and help in finding placements

  11. Other sources of funding (2) • Hardship Funds (Access to Learning fund) • Usually allocated only in special circumstances but is available • Sponsorships/Bursaries • Money IS available - Research, Letter writing • Assistance with year abroad, Travel Bursaries - SOCRATES etc. Special Cases (some Health Care Courses, Teaching) • Banks - Interest free overdrafts, shop around • Credit Cards….. • Parents! • Be nice to them! (and keep them informed) • Don’t forget the graduation invite!

  12. Central Website…. • www.studentfinanceengland.co.uk • Includes finance calculator and lots of other information and how to apply

  13. Student Life Getting involved – clubs, volunteering and societies 5,000-40,000 students! Develop transferable skills attractive to employers Managing your money, organising your time Balancing studies with work and play

  14. Student Life - Settling in Read all the info you are sent beforehand Social Networking Groups before arrival? Welcome Week/Freshers’ Week Joining Clubs and Societies Students’ Union/Guild

  15. Student Life - Settling in/Making Friends Don’t worry! Manage high expectations Trips home 3 circles of friends? Living at home/commuting Student Support, Counseling, Health Centre, Chaplains etc People like me? – eg International Students

  16. Student Life - Academic Life Lectures/Tutorials and Practicals – attend them I’ve been here before? Personal Tutor/Learning Support Officer Peer Mentors – current students Learning Development Centres/Learning Centres

  17. Is it worth it?! – Graduate Employment • Average overall starting salary for Y2009 Graduates: c21,000 (more for graduates in Engineering, Medical related, Computing/IT, Education, Management Consulting etc) • After 5 years earnings increased by c55% (CIPD survey) • No such thing as a “Graduate Job” anymore – “MacGraduate….” • Consult “Destination Surveys” - DLHE for Individual Universities/courses (eg. at Open Days) • Course and University choice more important than ever… • Many major graduate employers “Target” certain Universities/Colleges and certain courses – eg Aston

  18. Graduate Employment/Life – think about it in first year HESA First Destination Statistics – “The DLHE Survey” Unistats.com Quality of jobs also important Targeting by and reputation with employers Times Top 100 Graduate Employers “Sandwich” placements or year abroad – paid and great experience, fantastic for career prospects Use your Careers service, career management modules Quality of careers support should be a factor in choosing University Varies massively between Universities

  19. Developing Professional Experience – Sandwich Placement/Year Abroad – High Fliers Survey 2012 “Nearly two-thirds of UK recruiters warn that graduates who have had no previous work experience at all are unlikely to be successful during the selection process” “a third of this year’s UK entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations – either through industrial placements, vacation work or sponsorships..” www.highfliers.co.uk 50 years of experience at Aston

  20. Global Citizenship, Global Communication The British Council, December 2011 “UK Students lack global outlook” Aston’s Outlook: Languages for All Students from 120 Countries Global Entrepreneurship 60%+ take Sandwich Courses 20%+ spend year abroad

  21. It’s not all bad news for graduates, it depends where you study…..

  22. Placement Year and Sandwich Courses Why take a placement year? Excellent experience, foot in the door after graduation 30%+ offered graduate roles after final year and/or final selection stage for graduate schemes Add context to academic study – look back and forward Final year performance (eg degree class) consistently better Make your mistakes early! Business/industry practice and 9-5 exposure Placement year abroad increasingly available, and not just for languages students NOT a trade off between “Academic” versus “Vocational” Wide range of degree subjects offer the option More relevant and better context than a “Gap Year” Thick or Thin Sandwich? £1,000 or Zero Tuition Fee (at Aston for example)

  23. Increase in Graduate Scheme vacancies for 2012Some examples from our experience PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC): 1,600 (1,000 ) IBM: 200 (150) Jaguar Land Rover: 135 (100) KPMG 900 (650) Morgan Stanley 250 (200) M & S 185 (100) Lloyds 185 (150) Credit Suisse 250 (150) Civil Service Fast Stream 500 (500) Deloitte 1,100, (1,000) *also new A-level entry route Enterprise Rent a Car 700 Previous year in brackets CBI study of graduate employers found only 7% were considering a freeze on recruitment compared to 61% in 2009. Survey included SMEs

  24. Less positive for some young people but you will be graduating in 2016-17!

  25. “Graduate Level” Jobs: 2010 and 2011 Graduates 1. Imperial College, London 95.4% 2. London School of Economics (LSE) 94.6% 3. Kings College London 90.4% 4. University College London (UCL) 88.9% 5. Aston University 88.5% 6. Cambridge University 88.2% 7. Bath University 87.4% 8. City University (London) 86.5% 9=. Warwick University 84.3% 9=. Bristol University 84.3% UK average c70%. Aston above 20 of the 24 Russell Group Universities Source: HESA, Sunday Times University Guide – September 2011 and September 2012 - 2 year average. Full Time Employed Graduates in “Graduate Level” employment

  26. The Apprentice Factor….. • Aston Graduates Nick Holzherr, Kate Walsh and Alex Wotherspoon • Nick, Kate and Alex runners up in the 2012, 2009 and 2008 BBC Apprentice • All took sandwich placement years or year abroad programmes

  27. The Apprentice Factor….. • Aston University Graduates Nick Holzherr, Kate Walsh and Alex Wotherspoon • Kate and Alex made final 2 and 4 contestants of 2009 and 2008 BBC Apprentice • 17/5/12. Nick still going strong! • All took sandwich placement years

  28. Is it worth it?!Yes! • 65-70% of UK Graduates go into “Graduate Track” employment or further study within 6 months of graduation. This figure rises to 80% for a University such as Aston (placement years, higher entry grades, reputation with employers, subject mix, strong tradition of participation in clubs and societies) • 6-7% unemployed across UK, c25-30% in non-graduate track employment/further study/not available • Be proactive, get involved, take a placement year/time abroad if offered, do your course research wisely, don’t panic but enjoy…..

  29. Thanks for listening…hope to see some of you in September! • Any questions? • www.aston.ac.uk/fees • www.purepotential.org • J.r.seymour@aston.ac.uk