Nicola Welcome and introductions Introductions Mrs Aldred – Director of Sixth Form Dr Ben Eves- Head of year 13 Miss Gorrill – Head of year 12 Mr Davison – Head of Sixth Form Enrichment Mrs Teasdale – G and T Lead Teacher and Head of Oxbridge and Medics support We all work together very closely to support your children through this very difficult time in their learning journey Purpose of evening – to inform you in some detail about application to Higher Education – the essentials of the process, the time frames concerned Am certain that you have all been listening to the news and are aware of the cuts in HE again this year – these cuts will have serious consequences for all of us – tonight we want to make you aware of the present climate and what that means for your child.
Nicola This unfortunately is the reality of the situation – it is the situation that we together are working with. This is a competition – a couple of years ago we could have stood in front of you and said that if your child wants to go to university there is a place waiting for them – we can no longer say that What we have experienced since Christmas in terms of courses being pulled and offers being increased has been frightening The average Russell group offer will be AAB – the government has lifted the ceiling placed on these offers – therefore many have told us at the UCAS conference last month that these offers will be increasing and lower offers are in decline It is impossible to trivialise the situation but we can and will react to it . It is more essential than ever that we all work together as a team to provide your sons/daughters with the best possible opportunity to go to university. Dedication, hard work and realism are necessary for success.
Ben There are positives! If someone has the academic ability to make a success of Higher Education, why not use it? Graduates are reckoned to acquire qualities which make them desirable employees - initiative, teamwork, social skills, problem-solving, prioritising, marshalling detailed arguments. What often matters is having done the degree rather than precisely what degree it is. On average graduate salary prospects are still higher over a period of time, Then there is the “Student Life” - all the extra-curricular opportunities, the clubs and societies, the concerts, the parties, the sports, the holidays ..... Most universities now are international meeting points. Going to a new place should be one of the exciting prospects for those contemplating Higher Education.
Ben It is also wise to count the cost of getting a degree, both literally in terms of money and also in terms of effort, time and prospects. students are now expected to pay the costs of their academic tuition. Most students will be in debt when they graduate and will probably need to support themselves with paid work during their years at university. A degree takes three years of study - perhaps four. Universities nowadays are more serious about work than ever - they expect students to pass the exams each year (and make them re-take if they don’t; and terminate their studies if they fail the re-take); failure to hand in work on time is often penalised by deducting or even cancelling the marks. Everyone should ask whether they have the stamina to complete the course, and examine their efforts this year critically before they answer. Jobs are not guaranteed, particularly for those reading one of the less “relevant” degrees. there are surplus of graduates in certain fields and some graduates have difficulty landing an appropriate job of any kind.
Kerry Sponsorships are available in some Engineering, Scientific and Financial courses. Here a firm or one of the Armed Forces will pay towards fees or support, offer work in vacations and even guarantee a job at the end. Usually students are required to work before the course begins and also after graduation These are hard to obtain, usually demanding high grades and good interviews.
Kerry We are almost at the half-way point in the A Level courses Following the Manchester HE fair - bag of prospectuses – should have started to research courses - need to start to plan the two open days of their favourite uni’s The prospectuses / websites need to read in detail, to find out what grades are needed to qualify for the courses they want and be realistic about whether those grades can be achieved. Everyone can choose five courses on the UCAS form. These should be sensible choices. Previously receiving 4 offers would be common – now 2 more likely and for the more competitive courses one offer is the norm. And many applicants need to be prepared to receive none and switch to a plan B through UCAS extra. We have to set an internal deadline for applications ( A date will be set in around half term for this) in order to allow sufficient time for final interviews and for references to be finalised before Christmas. Applications completed after this deadline will not be completed until January. It has to be said that it is an advantage to apply sooner rather than later for most courses.
Nicola Applications this year will again be online, using the UCAS “Apply” programme: The form can be completed on a home or school computer which has the internet – this is monitored by the form tutor After that an interview is arranged with either myself, Dr Eves, Miss Gorrill or Mr Davison or to embark on the final stages of the process. We discuss the application in detail. We find out as much as possible about the individual in order to make the reference fresh and individual – this includes all their latest achievements and any recent work experience which is of relevance. The student sends the final version of the form to us on-line and pays the UCAS fee via a debit card – delaying the payment delays the whole process We then add the finalised reference, which all subject teachers and their form tutor, will have contributed to. Once the reference has been added, we send the form to UCAS. UCAS send an acknowledgement. And the form is electronically distributed to the five universities applied to.
Nicola These are the six main parts of the UCAS Application Form. NB – the most recent significant feature to be introduced four years ago was – “Blind Application” – each university does not know where else is on the list, or what other courses. However, it still makes sense to have a list of related choices rather than very different ones, not least because it makes writing the personal statement all the more difficult.
Ben Special programme – followed in Gen Studs lessons – supported by tutors and the team here tonight. The basics are that: It should be written in good English It should be interesting but also truthful The student needs to do this on their own but parents and tutors are there to check it through – Copycat plagiarism software Must get across their passion for the subject – work related experience ,experience in school and positions of responsibility held. It is worth mentioning leisure activities and interests, and the skills have developed through these – but these should not take over the whole statement. Then, at the end, they should discuss their future ambitions, career ambitions in broad or specific terms, and how these are reflected in the degree courses that have been applied for.
Kerry Estimates of A Level Grades are made on the basis of AS results and evidence of future potential. In the majority of cases it is the AS grade used unless other convincing evidence is presented to us with the support of the subject teacher. In the main body of the reference, we endeavour to be as positive and supportive as we can be. It is a comprehensive academic summary of achievements and potential, based upon references which subject teachers have written at the end of the summer term. The form tutor writes a portion of this describing your personality and character together with attendance, punctuality, adherence to school rules and in what ways the student has contributed to the life of the school. In everything we write we have to be truthful; to a large extent students write their own reference based upon their track record in the Sixth Form, and for many universities and employers this is as significant as the A Level grades they are predicted to achieve.
Ben This is now the points system used by the universities. The points tariff at A Level is double that for the equivalent grade at AS Level.
Ben This slide outlines the process of application from this term until going to university. We keep a close eye on the whole process. Every applicant is interviewed at least once in the autumn term to check their UCAS form and their choices. Careful production of the application - choices, statement & reference - ensures that we have less problems after results, less panic, less people in the Clearing system. Our usual average rate of offers is 4 or 5, when students apply for 5 courses, which tends to imply that we must be doing something right. When results come out in August 2010, a team of Sixth Form staff will be in school to congratulate you on your success. If any of you are faced by difficult problems, we will be here to help you disentangle them for as long as it takes to find a solution.
Nicola There are always some students who give themselves barriers in the race towards achieving a university place. These barriers include: Jobs – good in themselves but not when they involve too many week-nights, late nights or tiring shifts. We recommend an absolute maximum of 10 hours per week, and often that is too much. Attendance/Absence: everyone should aim at 100% attendance. Every lesson missed is something to catch up; there is no substitute for being present. Holidays in term-time are damaging to academic progress and can quite easily cause you to drop a grade, if a topic taught in your absence comes up on the examination paper. “ Medical” appointments – Please ensure that you let your tutor know in advance when you have a genuine medical appointment. Coursework deadlines: make sure you are well organised and that you keep them. When you get to university you will find a much more rigid approach to this. Late assignments have a significant proportion of the marks deducted. You want your son/ daughter to have the best possible chance of a place - those A Level grades will be written against their name for the rest of their lives – they must be the very best that they can possibly achieve
Beyond a level 2012
APPLYING TO UNIVERSITY 2013 ENTRY
Following the credit crunch…..o There was been a 23% rise in applications to university – an extra 100,000 studentso Funding for universities has been cut by £449 milliono The number of university places has been reduced by 6000o Only 75% of applicants got a place at university last yearo 40,000 students who did not get a place last year will be applying this yearo Universities will be fined up to £3 million if they exceed their target student numberso More courses are asking students to take admissions tests
What does this all mean……? Admissions tutors will not take risks Entry requirements are still going up - the average offer may rise to 320 points (ABB). Universities are now allowed to take as many ABB students as they like without affecting their cap on numbers The most popular subjects like Nursing, Psychology, Law, Medicine, English, Teaching, will be even more competitive Work experience, the Extended Project, General Studies and super- curricular activities will be more important than ever. Just because they aren’t part of the offer doesn’t mean that they aren’t part of the decision making process Universities are more likely to interview you, or ask for examples of your work, or set you extra work
The latest….. Four more universities have joined the Russell Group Universities have no cap on the number of AAB students they recruit This will squeeze the number of places available for lower grades
The Russell Group University of Birmingham University of Nottingham University of Bristol University of Oxford University of Cambridge, Queens University Belfast Cardiff University University of Sheffield University of Edinburgh University of Southampton University of Glasgow University College London Imperial College London University of Warwick Kings College London University of Leeds Durham University University of Liverpool University of Exeter London School of Economics & Queen Mary, University of Political Science London University of Manchester University of York Newcastle University
University Pros?• Use Academic Talents• High Employability• Graduate Salary Prospects• The Student Life• New Place, New People• Independence
University - Cons• Cost • Payment of Contribution to Fees • Debt during and after Course • • Top-up Fees and Student Loans; few Grants • Need to do Paid Work • But: Repayment is at low interest rate • Could cost only £1-25p per day• 3/4 Years of Study• Will I get a Job when I graduate?
Bursaries and scholarships Universities will have information on websites They can be worth a £100s or £1000s Local organisations e.g. Rotary Clubs may offer smaller amounts of money to local students Our students have often been successful in gaining bursaries and scholarships
Sponsorship Firm Contributes to Your Funds Job in Vacations Commitment to Work for 1/2 Years 1 - 3 - 1 Structure High Grades DemandedSometimes Tied to Particular Courses Increasingly rare
What has already happened? Lectures and tutorials on the UCAS process and how to write a personal statement Updates on the latest advice from UCAS and the Russell Group Input from form tutors on early drafts of personal statements Surgery appointments with Sixth Form Team for personalised one-to-one advice Support for early applicants via Mrs Teasdale and Med Soc
What now? Research course options Check Grades Required Choose Sensibly Apply Early Work Hard
Early Applicants 15th October is the last entry date for all Oxbridge courses, medicine, dentistry and veterinary courses
Gifted and Talented This refers to our top 5-10% students in a year group In the 6th form this is initially calculated from GCSE scores Mrs Teasdale specifically supports this group of students
Support Small group mentoring at registration time to discuss future choices Visit to the Northwest Oxbridge conference at Haydock at Easter time Talks from ex-pupils Interview practice Evening meeting with the school liaison officers from Oxbridge
Making The Application• UCAS • Universities & Colleges Admissions System• Between September 1st and January 15th • By October 15th for Oxbridge, Medicine, Vet Science & Dentistry• UCAS Directory • Online - www.ucas.com• £22 Fee (subject to change) • Payable before application is sent ( by debit/credit card)
The UCAS Application Form Individual Details Five Course Choices AS Exam Results Personal Statement Predicted Grades Reference
The Personal Statement Reasons for choosing the subject – passion! Work experience and responsibility – linked to the chosen degree Activities in school especially super-curricular and leadership roles Leisure interests and activities BRIEFLY Future aims Have it ready in advance Special training in school Advice from tutors and the Directorate
Aims of Enrichment To broaden knowledge beyond students’ chosen A-level subjects To help our students get experience that will help towards their application for university To ensure that our students have the independent study skills that universities require
Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) A stand-alone qualification at A2 standard Highly regarded by universities Can be a formal essay, performance piece or ‘Artefact’ Promotes skills such as planning, academic research, time management, presentation skills Can be on virtually any topic you chose, although its sensible to link it with future aspirations
Other Provision Primary School Placements Beyond The Horizon lectures 5 Enrichment Days in Year 13
The School’s Academic Reference • Based on Teachers’ and Tutors’ reports• Includes Predicted Grades based on AS results • Supportive • Truthful
Predicted grade This will be their AS grade (NOT their target grade) Students should not apply for courses above their predicted grade They should apply for courses with a range of offers
The UCAS TariffAS Level Points A Level Points A* - 140 A - 60 A - 120 B - 50 B - 100 C- 40 C- 80 D- 30 D- 60 E - 20 E - 40
Stages of UCAS Application March to September - Course Research and Completion of Personal Statement September to November-Application/Processing November to March - Open Days / Interviews November to May - Offers/Rejections April/May - Final Decisions Mid-August - Exam Results August/September - Confirmation September/October - Start University
What to Apply For Maintenance Grant or Special Support Grant – means tested and non-repayable. Maintenance Loan – 65% of total non-means tested and repayable. Tuition Fee Loan – non-means tested and repayable. ( Full details available on line)
Why Bother? Tuition Fees – up to a maximum of £9,000 per year Those that charge over £6,000 will need to ensure that students from all income groups can access their courses Don’t repay till you earn £21,000 pa comes straight out of your pay.
Employment Typically, only around 2.5% of students go directly into employment Many routes (e.g. accountancy, surveying) have disappeared Often linked to existing employment or schemes such as Year in Industry Sometimes used as a year out – thinking time Very varied in nature: acting, sport, retail being some examples Support delivered through PHSCE days and one-to-one interviews with Head of Year, interviews with Connexions and input from Head of Careers No set plan as every student is different – personalised programme is necessary Often a ‘belt and braces’ approach – UCAS plus career
Finally! Students need commitmentDon’t let them put barriers in their way Competition is fierce