22 January 2021
Mrs Bodil Chambers, Head of Higher Education and Careers
Our annual Higher Education Information Evening has such an important place in our calendar that there was no question of cancelling it. Going virtual had its challenges but it did mean that parents who are usually unable to attend in person, because of distance or other commitments, could join us. Following our UCAS launch to Lower Sixth students in November, and talks with Year 11s on the implications of A Levels on higher education choices, the event on Thursday 21 January was a chance for our students and their parents to hear from expert speakers giving their insight on the higher education landscape to help them make informed choices.
The evening opened with a panel session. Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Bath, previously at the University of Oxford, and a renowned expert in the field, spoke about the current opportunities, trends and issues in higher education. Rob Evans, Head of Admissions at the University of Sussex, gave an entertaining talk on the important factors to consider when choosing a course and university.
Another leading figure, David Hawkins, from the Uni Guys, gave a fascinating taster of what is on offer at US and other overseas universities. Apprenticeships expert Sue Taylor spoke on behalf of AskApprenticeships about the increasingly exciting opportunities for degree and higher apprenticeships.
Following the main panel, parents and students were able to attend breakout sessions with our visiting experts and our own in-house experts on courses or universities with specialised requirements or application processes. Dr Michael Sutherland of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge joined Miss Noble, Woldingham’s Oxbridge Co-ordinator, leading a presentation and discussion on applying to Oxbridge, while Head of Chemistry Miss Gallagher explained what is involved in making an application to medicine, veterinary science and dentistry courses. David Hawkins and Mrs Mason, our USA & Canadian Universities Co-ordinator, spoke in more detail on US and international applications, while Sue Taylor gave more insight into the practicalities of finding and applying for apprenticeships. Mike Nicholson led an interesting and lively discussion on placements, internships and years abroad, an increasingly significant and valuable feature of many degree courses.
The event was very well received by parents and students who found it very informative. Another advantage of ‘going virtual’ is that parents and students will be able to view the sessions they missed or couldn’t attend. Details on how to access these will be sent to parents very soon.
Head of Sixth Form Mr Phil Abbott and I will be hosting a parents seminar on UCAS applications in the summer term. This will be another opportunity for parents to find out all they need to know to support their daughters in making smart and successful applications.