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Welcome to our session on Applying to Higher Education. Overview. This presentation will cover: The factors students should be considering when applying to higher education. Useful Resources The Application Process and Important Dates What the College does to help What you can do to help
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Overview This presentation will cover: • The factors students should be considering when applying to higher education. • Useful Resources • The Application Process and Important Dates • What the College does to help • What you can do to help • Questions
What qualifications do you need? • Students must continue with at least 3 A levels or equivalent. • Many university courses are extremely competitive so students should be aiming to achieve 3.5 A levels and relevant experience. • A BTEC National Diploma is equivalent to 3 A levels. • A BTEC National Certificate is equivalent to 2 A levels. • The International Baccalaureate is a recognised qualification for university entry.
General Considerations • Studying for a higher education level qualification is enjoyable and allows students to find out more about the subjects that interest them. • It may lead them on to their chosen career path and give them advantages in the job market. • It widens their social experience by offering a range of new and challenging social experiences.
General Considerations But… • Higher education also involves hard work and is very competitive. • Students need to decide if higher education is right for them. It does not suit everybody. • The financial cost is a factor to be considered.
Choosing a Course • What do they want to study? • Do they have a specific career in mind? • Would they like to take one of their college subjects forward to degree level? • Would they like to study a completely new subject? • Does the course contain those aspects of the subject that they are most interested in and avoid those they are not?
Choosing a Course • Do they have the right entry requirements? Selection will be based on various criteria and may include: • Grades or UCAS points • Specific subjects • Entrance exams • Work experience • Personal qualities • How is the course assessed? What proportion is by written examination? • How many hours a week formal teaching will they receive?
Choosing a Course • How long is the course? • Is there an opportunity for a work placement as part of the course? • Are there opportunities to study abroad as part of the course? • What are the job prospects with a degree from this course?
Entry Requirements • Entry requirements vary between institutions and courses. • Some institutions will just use UCAS Tariff points, some just grades and others can specify both. • Students will need to be aware of their predicted grades, which will be based on their performance in this summer’s external exams (AS) or internal exams (IB). • For students studying on a BTEC course predicted grades will be based on their performance in units across the first year. • Offers from universities are based on predicted grades.
Entry Requirements • A levels are graded from A* - E. • BTEC qualifications are assessed as Distinction, Merit and Pass. • Subjects within the International Baccalaureate are graded 1 – 7, with a potential additional 3 points from a combination of the Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge. • Often particular grades are required from specific A level subjects. Certain subjects may be required at Higher Level for the IB. • GCSE English and Maths at grade C are a general entry requirement, and for some degrees, higher grades may be needed.
Entry Requirements International Baccalaureate (IB) • The pass range for the IB is 24 – 45 points. • Although the IB carries UCAS points, universities normally ask for overall IB points.
Choosing a University • What are the academic facilities like? • Does the library provide access to up to date resources? • How many computers per student? • Does the university have the necessary facilities for the course? • What academic support is available to them? • What pastoral care can they access? • What are the social facilities like? • What clubs and societies are there? • Is the university situated in a place that caters for their interests, e.g. art galleries, sports, theatre etc.
Choosing a University • Where do they want to live? At home, away from home, in a city, town or out of town campus? • What range of accommodation is available? • Is accommodation guaranteed in the first year? • What is the cost of the accommodation? • How far is the accommodation from the main university buildings?
Cost • The cost of university falls broadly into two categories: • Tuition Fees (the cost of the course) • Living costs (accommodation, bills, books, clothing, food, laundry, socialising, travel etc) • What support is available? • Government Funding • Loans for tuition fees and living costs (REPAYABLE) • Grant for living costs (NON-REPAYABLE) • University • Bursaries (NON-REPAYABLE) • Scholarships (NON-REPAYABLE) • Hardship funding (NON-REPAYABLE) • Part-time Work • Help from Family
Cost • Students apply for funding online at www.direct.gov.uk/studentfinance. • If they are applying for 2011 entry, they will be able to apply from late-Autumn 2010.
Useful Resources • UCAS Website (www.ucas.com) UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry to higher education.
Useful Resources • University Prospectuses (available online or in the Careers Centre) • The prospectus provides information about the institution and the courses available. • Open Days (www.opendays.com) • Open days can help students discover the good and bad points of a place. • Stamford Test (www.ucas.com) • Use the Stamford Test on the UCAS website to generate university course ideas. • Higher Ideas (available on student computers in College) • Higher Ideas is a computer program for exploring higher education options. • Unistats (www.unistats.com) • Use the Unistats website to compare facts and figures on universities and courses.
Useful Resources • Connexions (www.connexions-direct.com/jobs4u) The Connexions website is useful for finding out about different careers.
Useful Resources • e-CLIPs (www.eclips-online.co.uk) • Like Connexions, the e-CLIPs website is useful for finding out about different careers. • The advantage of this website is that it is more detailed. • Students will need the College password to access the website. They can get this from the Careers Centre.
The Application Process • All applications are made online via the UCAS website (www.ucas.com) and will be completed in the Autumn term. • The Parents section of UCAS website is particularly useful. • Instructions on how to apply will be given to students in June. • Students make 5 choices in no preference order. • The College deadlines for receipt of applications vary.
Important Dates • 5 May HE Fair • Mid-June Student Guide to HE Applications • 23 June Review Day • September Preparation for University Applications • 17 September College Deadline for applications to Oxford, Cambridge, Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science • 15 October UCAS Deadline for above applications • 22 October General College Deadline for university applications • 15 January Main UCAS Deadline
What the College does to help • We provide Information and Advice: • Talk on applying to higher education • HE Fair • Student Guide to Higher Education Applications • Training on the online UCAS application • Subject specific talks • Advice, resources and prospectuses available in the Careers Centre. • We provide Guidance through appointments with: • College Careers and Connexions Advisers • Medicine and Oxbridge Advisers • Tutors
What the College does to help • We establish the Predicted Grades: • Based on exam or coursework performance • Offers from universities are based on predictions • Predicted grades are not negotiable • We provide References: • Tutors will write the reference using the subject lecturers’ reports and after consultation with the student. • We provide Practice Interviews
What can you do to help? • Talk to your son or daughter about their interests and aspirations. • Attend Review Day on 23rd June with your son or daughter to discuss their progress with their tutor. • Encourage them to choose a 2nd year programme that is both stretching and manageable. • Encourage them to research courses and universities and make realistic choices, taking their current grades into account. • Help them to visit universities over the Summer, so that they can look at different cities and campuses and make informed choices. • Check that they are getting on with drafting their personal statement.