It’s June, which is a horrifying thought – the longest day of the year is less than a week away! But other than existential angst, June also means that Universities are opening for applications. And they want applications. Your application.
There’s over 150 Higher Education Institutes in the UK and they offer around 100,000 courses. The choice is absolutely staggering and it’s very easy to get overwhelmed when choosing a uni.
The resources that exist to help you choose are often just as bad – league tables with dozens of categories; you might in interested in knowing a university’s research quality but what does a research quality of 3.34 mean?
The purpose of this article is to try and present learning in a new light – to show that learning can be a powerful and enjoyable tool for life. I’m not talking about any specific area of learning – this isn’t an argument that you should become an expert on the mating cycles of sea-slugs.
This may well seem like a strange concept – you might ask “why on earth would I want to love learning?” Learning is, after all, school and university, endless classes, exams and stress. Isn’t it?
Being environmentally friendly is typically expensive. You hear everyone who cares about the environment yelling on their social media about how the government should change it’s extortionate cost, but the prices stay high.
So, here’s a short guide on how you can actually do something without making too large a dent in your wallet.
Hopefully the past month has given you a bit more clarity as to how your school/ college is assessing grades. You may have been getting more essays or homework set, maybe a new set of mocks have been announced or are even happening now. Either way, it’s safe to say that it’s best to complete each piece of work to the best of your ability. In this blog I’ll be talking about some tips and tricks you can use to keep working through a school of twenty back-crunching zoom calls whilst trying to prep for upcoming exams.
So, firstly for general revision and keeping focus: we have to remember that this doesn’t last forever. A-levels/ BTECs/ GCSEs will end, and so will all this work you're doing… I promise! Yes, we don’t know when or how we’re getting assessed exactly, but when school finishes in 5 or so months this will all be over and a new chapter awaits. The likelihood is these academic grades will be finally determined around May/June time, so summer and sunshine is only a few more months away!
You'd be forgiven for thinking that with around a year to go until your first application deadline looms, you've got time to perfect your Beyonce dance routine. While this is a perfectly legitimate leisure activity and will look fierce when you whip it out at parties, choosing a uni is much easier if you take the time to do it right
If you’re thinking of going to uni in September 2021 but you haven’t thought about which unis you're going to apply to yet: You’d better level up and get going.
You’ve got until mid-January to complete your application for most courses, but Oxbridge, medicine and veterinary courses have deadlines that are less than a month away (October 15th).
Is it time to start thinking about which university you might want to go to?
Well fear no more!
Over the past few months we’ve had a go at making a handy map for you that outlines as many universities in the UK that we could throw our hat at.
Click here to have a look at the list of universities on offer with links to their location, websites and a little of our honest Push info too.
If you’re part of a university or college that isn’t on the map and would like to be included. Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get it added to the map.
"The standard of the delivery (online) was excellent...pass on my regards and thanks to @AronTennant @mojtaylor. It was definitely useful and I think it will have hit on a number of different levels from being informative of what opportunities they have around them to a more personal level of who they are and can be. It was a pleasure to be part of." - Mike, Bedlington School
Are you heading to university? I'm sure you have a few questions about what awaits you...
Push has been flexing our broadband muscles (it's either that or real running) with a host of interactive online sessions for students, over summer term - to 1,000s of young people across the UK. If you missed out, then chill (we mean it, it's baking out there). We've selected some of the most interesting (and useful) questions we've been asked by year 11-13s, regarding the HE Experience...
This summer we all have a little more time to fill.
Covid-19 has meant that a lot of the usual events we enjoy doing aren't able to go ahead. Mass gathering? Not happening I'm afraid.
So you've got a whole lot of time that's opened up. So how are you going to fill it?
This summer is looking to be quite different to what we’re used to. Some lockdown restrictions are beginning to be lifted as we head back towards a bit of normality but things aren’t, and likely won’t be, the same as they were before.
Nonetheless there’s ways you can be using the summer to improve your skillset.
Right about now, you should be thinking about your student finance for next year. So if you haven’t completed your application, do it very soon. Although right now there is, of course, some changes to the process in light of the Covid-19 situation.
These are the most important changes to know if you're applying for Student Finance in the middle of a pandemic.
We know how tempting it might be given the current situation, to accept any unconditional offers you might be receiving from your university choices. The Government did actually put a temporary ban on universities offering unconditional offers (although this has now been lifted) to try and ensure these weren’t getting given out en-mass when exams were cancelled and floods of panicking students would then be accepting choices that may not be right for them.
And at Push that’s our mission. To make sure the decision you’re making is the right one for you. Not anybody else.
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
One thing we can all agree on as we go into another week of lockdown is that it isn't always easy. No matter who you're with and where you are, there are days when it might just seem a little harder, and that's fine.
The same is happening to you, me, your guardian, your best friend, your favourite celebrity. Everyone. So don't worry about it. It's normal.
So how do we make sure we're looking after ourselves in these unexpected circumstances and make sure that we aren't going stir crazy all cooped up inside like battery hens (Remember to buy free range folks!)
So this year we've had a shakeup in the way that things are going to happen.
Exams are cancelled, you're getting assigned your grades from your predicted grades (it seems at the minute) and the government and all schools, colleges and universities are working out the best way to do this fairly. It's all a bit up in the air at the minute while the world has gone a bit bonkers.
And what does no exams mean? Well it certainly doesn't mean you have nothing to do right now. School is still in session, so make sure you're keeping on top of the work you do have!
If you’re looking to move out anytime soon, chances are you’re going to be moving in with others. And that can be brilliant. Living with your best mates, having people around to keep you company and help you out, and splitting the bills is always nice.
But what if things go a little awry, and it’s not quite the perfect Friends-esque flatmate dream?
The Guardian have written a great cheat sheet to help you with some of the most common problems that can arise in shared accommodation and how to tackle them. Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest sources of tension when living with other people is…
Problems you might encounter as a tenant in shared accommodation...
By now, you're probably hearing from most – if not all – of the unis you applied to. If not, don’t worry, they're supposed to let you know by 31st March, but if you if you just can’t wait until then, it won't hurt to give them a call. You have to make sure you've responded by the 5th May if you have heard back from them all by the end of March so keep that in mind.
Now while we’re sure that you made an effort to go and see all 5 of your choices before applying, we also understand that sometimes life and viruses can get in the way and you might not have had time to go and see them all (err... or any of them).
We understand, these things happen.
Location, location, location
Now is as good a time as any to start contemplating the path you are going to take come September 2020. Assuming you have already taken some time to weigh up your options and decided on uni, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s the easy bit over. If you, like many others, are considering university it can be a pretty daunting task figuring out which uni to go to.
A good way to start is figuring out your preferred location and what better time to start doing so if we're all self isolating. Although probably hold off on going to see the place for a few weeks...
It might seem that sometimes everyone is talking about going to University, but it isn't for everyone.
If you think university might not be for you there's alternative routes. One of the most popular is Apprenticeships and right now there's more providers than ever!
However Paul Joyce, Ofsted's Deputy Director for Further education and Skills, has spoken in a report about how Brexit may have an effect on Apprenticeships and Skill gaps and he found in his research that while the number of providers of Apprenticeships has gone up since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in 2017 (This means companies had to pay into the levy to support Apprenticeships in their business) the number of people actually doing apprenticeships has continued to fall.
So why is this the case?
The ball is finally in your court
This month you’ll probably be getting some offers from universities. You may have some already. It can be exciting — like getting several Valentine cards all at once. It can also be unnerving: frantically hitting refresh on the UCAS website for hours on end and feeling like the only Valentine you’ll get might be from your mum. It doesn’t have to be stressful.
If you haven’t heard back yet, from your uni OR your valentine then calm down. Unis are supposed to let you know by March 31st, though they may take a little bit longer in some cases. Delay is not necessarily a bad sign. Especially with the response to your valentine message you sent on Friday.
You don’t have to tell UCAS what you want to do until May 5th, so if you've got offers, don’t rush.
What course is the course for you?
You go to uni to do a degree. But which one? There’s over 17,000 different subjects you can study and more than 70,000 individual courses.
You can start with what you want to do as a career. To be a doctor, you have to study medicine, for instance — which most people would agree is better than having people doing surgery just because they studied needlework.
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.
Wherever you are on your journey, whether you’re in Year 11 and starting to think about what lies ahead or in Year 13 with big decisions knocking at your door, it can be difficult to know what’s the right path for you.
Especially when there are so many options. We’re talking work, apprenticeships, uni, degree apprenticeships, diplomas, gap year and travel, volunteering, internships…
The list seems pretty endless, but that shouldn’t be a bad thing. There are so many different pathways out there that it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find something perfect for you.
If you’ve finished with college and are out navigating the world by yourself for the first time, whether that’s moving away to uni or taking on an apprenticeship scheme or a full-time job, we know that cash flow issues can always be a bit of a downer.
Depending on your circumstances, we’ve got loads of tips on making the most of your cash, and any financial support available to you.
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.
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