Covid-19 has caused a strange feeling in all our stomachs. But as we take it step by step through these trying times, we begin to swallow a little daily positivity, calmness, and taste bits of learning and wellbeing innovation, alongside some large spoonfuls of resilience. Students - you're never alone, and even though it can feel like you are, there are various organisations like Push, plus universities, charities and teachers, working hard online to ensure you know that it is ok to say you're struggling and ok to ask for support...
If you could sum up the lockdown so far in one word, what would it be? Sleep? Anxiety? Exams?
Furlough? I mean, who honestly knew that word before 21st March 2020? That'll make your Scrabble options a little easier from now on.
For students, schools, unis and employers, we'd choose the word 'adaptation'. We've all had to do it right? Whether it be our revision schedule, our internet data bill (don't even...) or our tears over the lack of Premier League football...there's been a coin flip on what we deem 'normal', and it will be a while before we get things back to what they were pre-lockdown.
The deadlines have passed for your decisions on your university offers so I hope you managed to get your research sorted and were confident and comfortable in your final decision.
Of course, this particular year, the decision was even bigger than usual. The pandemic has meant that we aren’t completely sure what form university will take in September and so it may feel like there’s a bigger risk of committing to an undergraduate degree.
Whilst basing your grades on the work you’d done up until 20th March might not seem fair as you didn't get Easter to hand in any great work based on past papers (naturally people improve the closer to the exams it gets), getting your teachers to take responsibility for your final grade does take away the potential pitfall of the exam itself…and we mustn't forget how many students' nerves get the better of them on the day.
A "winner takes all" approach doesn't work for every student. I’d say it doesn’t work for most and isn’t a healthy way to grade long-term effort and progress, and it certainly isn’t reflective of the working environment most people will find themselves in, where every single day, the realities of the job (and keeping it) is the grade
We can't imagine what you're going through right now, with news of your exams being called off this summer, but we can try and understand. Our presenter team have all been through the stresses of school, sixth form and college and have tried to place ourselves in this situation, and think of the questions we'd most want answered
Worried about all the fake news and conflicting information when it comes to Covid-19? (Yes, we always sing it to the tune of Come On Eileen, too.) Us lot at Push are no doctors or virology experts, but we can remind you of a few fundamental things…
Now the boring obligatory bit’s done with, what about the rest? Are school closures likely? What do they mean?
Nowadays everyone is (or should be) a champion for diversity and inclusivity, but what does that really mean?
According to digital tech source, Built In:
“Diversity refers to the traits and characteristics that make people unique, while inclusion refers to the behaviours and social normal that ensure people feel welcome.”
One example of diversity is those of us who are differently abled, whether that’s a visible or invisible disability, and making sure that we feel included, represented and involved in society. But how can we do that?
The government is proposing to create an Ofsted-style system that ranks universities on the amount their graduates earn according to the Guardian.
There has been some resistance to this idea from the education industry and rightly so. It creates a number of problems that could cause damage to particular courses (Arts and Humanities especially) that are in areas outside of London.
So what are the issues of this and in fact, would an earnings ranking actually be that helpful for students looking to go to university?
You might have heard the Prince’s Trust’s name thrown about before, but who are they and what do they do?
According to their website, the Prince’s Trust is a charity set up by Prince Charles over 40 years ago with the mission ‘to help young people transform their lives by developing the confidence and skills to live, learn and earn.’.
The charity helps school leavers and young people to develop their soft skills, get additional training and provides tips and resources on getting a job. For the budding entrepreneurs among us, they also offer training, mentoring and funding to help you start your own business.
New analysis has found that in the last five years, two thirds of colleges and universities have seen an increase in their dropout rates.
One of the reasons stated could be the drive to widen applicants to universities with institutions said to be admitting students who ‘aren’t able to cope’.
While Push doesn’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to allow as many people to get to University and follow their ambitions if they want to, we certainly think you should do your research before you decide if it’s the route for you.
You may have nearly a year until your uni application deadline for 2021, but if you're clever (and we’re sure you are), you’ll want to be as on-the-ball as Cinderella’s godmother and get your application right at the front of the queue.
That means getting it submitted by around half term in the Autumn.
Are you starting to think about your options? Not a fan of the uni route, but want to stay in training? With all the buzz in the news about apprenticeships at the moment, you’d be perfectly normal to be unsure when it comes to making a post-18 pathway choice.
Especially given the scheme has come under fire recently after a report was released by The EDSK, which suggested that ‘half of the courses offered in England are “fake” and the scheme was “descending into farce”.
On the other side of the argument though, a spokesperson for the Department for Education told the BBC that ‘schemes are becoming “better quality”, and give people the change to work in a salary-paying, training-heavy job with long term prospects.
But we know that most of the conversation around apprenticeships is coming from think-tanks, employers and government organisations - people who are never really experiencing the reality of life as an apprentice.
And who’s right? It’s all a bit mind-boggling.
According to erasmusprogramme.com, ‘Erasmus students are those that take advantage of the Erasmus exchange program, a well supported and organised scheme that has been in operation since the late 1980's. It allows students to study at universities in the EU member states for set periods of time.
Erasmus students study a wide variety of subjects but most use the program for advancing their language skills with a view to working in the international sphere.’
Throughout its active years, the Erasmus scheme has supported internationally-minded, travel savvy students on their trans-national studies and lives.
Being a member of the scheme entitles you to Erasmus’ support (both financial and educational) if you’re looking to spend some study time at an institution in neighbouring European countries.
And with over sixteen thousand Brits having taken up the scheme’s offerings in 2017 alone, you’ve no doubt heard weird and wonderful stories of friends and family studying abroad.
In the news this week, the University of Leicester’s students have been praised for the success of their scheme to reduce waste associated with living in (and leaving) halls of residence.
The British Heart Foundation’s ‘Pack for Good’ scheme was set up to encourage first years and accommodation leavers to donate their discarded and unwanted items at the end of the year rather than binning them, and it has saved a whopping 39 tonnes of stuff from landfill.
39 tonnes! That’s 39 small cars, or 5.5 full-grown elephants. A quarter of a blue whale.
When you’re deciding what would be the perfect career for you. Who do you turn to? There’s so many options available to us now that it seems so easy to hunt down what interests you and how you might go around turning that into a career.
While the options available to us all to find that perfect job are more than ever, new research by the OECD International economics think tank could show that we’re starting to already limit ourselves by the age of seven.
Whether you’re a budding political scientist or you’d prefer to never hear the word “Brexit” again, it’s impossible to have missed the news that we have a general election coming up before Christmas. So…
What does that mean? Well, all of the seats in the House of Commons – so 650 members of parliament (or MP) roles – are up for grabs.
On Election Day you vote for a local MP from a list of those standing in your area. These are usually affiliated with a political party, but some are independent. These are the people who’ll be deciding on public policy and laws, on everything from the future of the NHS to the dreaded “B”-word.
As ever, there’s loads going on in the public sphere about climate change and what we can do to have a positive impact.
Recycling and taking the bus is old news by this point. By now, we all know that reducing our meat consumption can make the biggest difference to our carbon footprints, and the world is now paying attention to the rise of environmental influencers in the likes of Greta Thunberg, Earthling Ed and Immy Lucas.
But who would have thought the latest veg warrior to join the climate crusade would be Bake Off’s very own Prue Leith?
Diversity in companies is an extremely important issue in 2019, as I’m sure we can all agree. Companies are taking different methods to boost members of the BAME (Black, Asian & minority ethnic) community as well as trying to bridge the gender gaps in their workforces - to equip themselves for the 21st Century, and an ever-connected world of cultures.
One way employers are attempting to boost this is by setting no minimum entry grades for their graduate recruits. This strategy has more than doubled in the past 5 years going from 7% of ISE employers in 2014 to 22% in 2019. The amount of employers wanting a 2:1 degree has also dropped in this period from 67% to 57%.
Most people have some assumptions when it comes to uni, whether they have friends or family who have been before or not. And a lot of those will inevitably revolve around drinking.
Bargain basement uni bars, student clubbing nights with shots for £1, boozy society initiations, house/halls parties galore. It might seem like that’s all there is to the whole degree-earning business.
Turns out, a whopping 79% of students are under the impression that ‘getting drunk is part of university culture’. Seems pretty inescapable.
And although that’s not really true, and it’s perfectly doable to get through your uni years teetotal if that’s what floats your boat, the tide really does seem to be changing on the booze culture.
Nowadays, we can’t go a few days without hearing about climate catastrophes, from the Amazon forest fires to the macabre memorial held by scientists at the demise of the first Icelandic glacier lost to climate change.
So it’s welcome news that next week marks another round of some of the most prolific, exciting demonstrations and strikes going – Youth Strike 4 Climate and Fridays for Future.
This time, they’re not just for the young climate strikers, like Swedish sensation Greta Thunberg, who kick-started the climate crisis movement.
Everyone loves Matilda, right? Whether it’s Quentin Blake’s iconic illustrations and the heart-warming tale of Danny DeVito and Mara Wilson (now a Twitter icon, honestly…)’s unbeatable Hollywood depictions, Roald Dahl’s creation is a timeless classic.
Not to mention we’re always here for a strong female protagonist. With vigilante magic. But we digress.
Two Manchester-based parents are advertising through a freelance tutoring service to find a tutor willing to dress and act the part of the unforgettable Miss Honey, Matilda’s sweet, nurturing schoolteacher to tutor their daughter.
It’s come out from an OECD report into cyber related bullying that out of all the highly developed countries investigated, England has the highest rate of cyber bullying and social media misuse in its schools. Which is a pretty nasty stat.
The study looked at ‘the experiences of more than 250,000 teachers in 48 industrialised countries and regions’ and found a serious problem with the UK.
Do you know your bops from your balls? Or your CATS from your CUKAS?
Heading into the world of higher education can be like learning a new language – there's more jargon than you can shake a soc at. That's why we've created this handy glossary of all the weird and wonderful terms academics like to use. Let Push be your guide.
You'll need us. Honestly, it's a jungle out there.
Not got a place yet? If none of your unis offered you a place or you played hard to get and turned down all their advances, then you might still find something through UCAS Extra. The idea is that you can apply to courses that still have spaces even if they weren't one of your first choices.
For year 12s
Are you heading down the uni highway?
This month you can officially start applying to uni for 2019 entry. UCAS opens its website for people to register on 22nd May.
Don’t worry, the deadline is still a while away, but the dogs are now off the leash.
Hopefully, your thoughts about what you might want to study have, like chewing gum on the pavement, been getting firmer.
The next question is where to study? Sometimes this isn’t just about where it is in the country, but about what the place is
really like – the atmosphere.
No two unis are the same. The surroundings and building affect how it feels, but so too do the people, the students. Some
unis are posh, some are full of students from the area, some are ethnic melting pots, some are arty, sciency or businessy. Some are none of those things.
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