Applying to university can seem a daunting prospect for both students and their parents. The world of UCAS, adjustment, unconditional offers, interviews and open days can appear challenging, but with the help of some outside experts and our own Sixth Form team and alumnae, all became far clearer at the Higher Education evening.
We were very fortunate to welcome Anne-marie Canning, Director of Widening participation at King’s College, London to give us an insider view on exactly what universities are looking for in prospective undergraduates. Anne-marie had some excellent tips, including the fact that personal statements are still very relevant, especially when deciding between two strong candidates, and that students may now also take part in multi-interviews, as well as one to one sessions. She also advised students considering gap years to talk to their preferred university about this earlier rather than later, for the best outcomes.
Following Anne-marie’s talk, we heard from last year’s Head girls, Hannah and Kate, who are in their first year studying in London and Durham respectively. They presented the contrasts between large city universities and small collegiate or campus-based universities and had practical tips about commuting to lectures, not getting overexcited during fresher’s week, and the thorny issue of student finance. Hannah also advised students to make sure that they liked the people interviewing them, pointing out that departments tend to attract a certain personality type, and there are likely to be a lot more characters just like your interviewer in the department you join.
After Hannah and Kate’s valuable insight Mr Fanning stepped in to run through the practical aspects and timetable for applying to university, assuring students and parents alike that they are in safe hands and getting everyone looking forward to the next exciting step.