On the week of April 23nd, Shaping Futures and staff at Cronton Sixth Form College collaborated to run the first annual Higher Education Week. The aim of the events were to begin preparing First Year A Level and BTEC students for all things Higher Education related, and to kick start their UCAS journey. A number of employers, universities and training providers were involved, including Shaping Futures partners, meaning students at the college had the opportunity to directly engage with Higher Education, ask any questions they had and build on their knowledge base.
A day by day breakdown of Higher Education Week…
On Monday all First Year A Level students came together for a ‘Why University?’ talk. This talk was a brilliant springboard to launch the week as it encouraged students to consider the world of opportunity available to them at university. Students were encouraged to ‘Think Now and Think Big!’ throughout Higher Education Week, in order to maximise their aspirations and ensure they aimed high with their university choices.
Over Tuesday lunchtime, Cronton Sixth Form College became host to a university and careers fair. Universities from the Shaping Futures Consortia, around the North West and further afield hosted stalls and spoke to students about their university and what they could offer. Local employers offering Degree Apprenticeships also attended the fair to talk to students about opportunities available.
On Wednesday it was University Question Time! Representatives from Shaping Futures partner universities made up a panel of experts on comprising current students, recent graduates, recruitment staff and many more. Students had the opportunity to ask about anything and everything related to life as students. Question topics included student finance, accommodation, assessment, societies and even what happens on your first day of university!
Two talks took place on Thursday to support students in planning for the next few months. The first talk, covering Student Finance, aimed to reassure students with concerns about university finance, while the second talk ‘Making the Most of UCAS Fairs and Open Days’ preparing students for the fast approaching Open Days and Merseyside HE Fair.
Friday’s event was tailored for the vocational students at Cronton Sixth Form College, including those pursuing Level 3 BTEC courses. A representative from Liverpool John Moores University gave a talk on BTEC/Vocational routes into Higher Education and Degree Apprenticeships, followed by a talk from a local employer offering Degree Apprenticeships, who discussed employability, interview techniques and what they look for in prospective employees. The aim of Friday’s session was to show students that university can be accessed through a variety of pathways, is a viable option for vocational students and to open students’ eyes to the wealth of course and options available to them at university level.
The Higher Education Week was followed by a focused Higher Education Morning in June when students were supported to register for UCAS and begin their application and personal statement. After UCAS registrations are completed, Shaping Futures staff will be making appointments with students 1:1 to assist them with researching courses, finding open days, completing applications, writing personal statements and more. Our aim is to support River and Cronton students to find the best Higher Education option for them and feel confident, knowledgeable and secure in their future choices.