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.
Our Chief Executive, Johnny Rich, started Push after seeing his friend drop out of University from not doing enough research into his course and University choice so we’re always on hand to offer advice with this.
So how do you ensure University is right for you?
Take a look on websites like Which? University and What uni? and read about the course, how it's assessed and what kind of work you’ll be expected to do. These are all things that matter and may be different for each person.
Open days are the way to go but we always say try and go visit universities on days separate to the organised open days if possible. It’ll give you the real feel of the place instead of a day when everything is spruced up to look nice and attract prospective students.
Don’t just look at league tables. These don’t necessarily matter that much. What matters is that the course and University suits you. Don’t like walking up hills? Maybe not Sheffield. Don’t like the wind? Avoid coastal universities. These are small things that might make a big difference if you’ve got to live there for three years minimum. Research, research, research.
Even if a course has the same name at two different universities, the opportunities of modules on offer may vary greatly so it’s worth looking at these to ensure the subjects on offer, within the degree, are things that are interesting to you. You don’t want to roll up to university and realise you have three years of analysing ancient scrolls if that’s not something you’re interested in.
Speak to people at the university already. This might be at an organised Open day or have a look at the email addresses of the course leaders. These are usually on the University website. If there’s particular things you want to know about the University or the course reach out to the people already working there. They’ll be more than happy to help out prospective students.
The key to lowering those University drop out rates is by making sure it’s 100% the right path for you before you go and you aren’t just going because it seems like ‘everyone else is’ or your parents want you to. Make sure it’s right for you and if it’s not, that’s ok. Apprenticeships, school leaver schemes, training course are all available and this might suit you more. It’s all down to the individual.
So if you’re thinking of going to University, great! Just make sure you’ve done the work and made sure it’s right for you. It will do you a world of good in the long run.
ARON TENNANT is the Talks and Editorial manager for Push. He is originally from South Yorkshire and has a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Sheffield. He also has an MA in Creative Play and Screenwriting from City, University of London and came runner up in Nickelodeon's international screenwriting competition in 2018. Alongside Push he does screenplay work for independent production companies and is working on his own independent film projects
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