Higher Education Applications Day for Lower Sixth
It’s that time of year when the Lower Sixth are encouraged to start thinking about starting their university applications.
The Higher Education Department and Global Initiatives Department organise the annual Higher Education Applications Day to give advice and information about making a UCAS application, writing a Personal Statement and making those difficult choices about universities and courses.
Lower Sixth former, Kate has written the following report on her experience of the day:
“On Wednesday 21 June the whole of the Lower Sixth were off timetable to participate in the Higher Education Applications Day, when we officially kick-started our university applications. The day began with a Personal Statement Workshop in which Miss Clark, our Higher Education Adviser, spoke about the tone, format and contents of exemplar Personal Statements and asked us to begin collating our own experiences and accomplishments into a rough first draft of our own Personal Statement. For some, this was a task that highlighted the great range of super-curricular activities they have already been engaging in, for others it served as a good indicator that the summer break may be a good opportunity to undertake some more activities.
This session was followed by a series of talks by speakers from various universities, including Bath, LSE, Durham, Edinburgh and Exeter. The speaker from Bath University focused particularly on student experience, including the diverse range of Clubs or Societies that are on offer. The Harry Potter Society and the Chocolate Appreciation Society certainly piqued many people’s interest. This speaker used the experiences of individual students and alumnae to illuminate aspects of life at Bath University (including accommodation, community, etc.). The speaker representing the University of Durham introduced the collegiate system to us and it was interesting to hear about the differences of being part of a college rather than just a year group. The Edinburgh University speaker focused more generally on studying in Scotland and again it was great to get to hear about the differences in courses and the reason behind the four-year system that is in operation there.
In contrast to the other talks, the speaker who represented LSE offered advice on applying to competitive universities, guiding us through the way in which the expectations of a competitive university differ from those of a less competitive one. Similarly, the speaker who represented the University of Exeter gave advice and suggestions about how one might make the most of an Open Day at any university, a topic which was especially relevant as many of us are planning to attend various Open Days over the next few weeks.
In the afternoon and with the guidance of our tutors, we began completing our online UCAS applications. This made the whole experience very real as it hit home that most of us will actually be applying to our universities in a matter of months. Miss Clark gave a talk on ‘How to Choose a University’ which included an explanation of the Russell Group, how to use league tables more effectively, the various types of universities and lots of pertinent things to consider when applying to university. Finally, a speaker from Foresight, a careers education company, explained the importance of self-branding and presented some projections of the future job market. The day provided a tidy summary of different aspects of student life, launched our Personal Statements and was a very productive experience for everyone.”