Located in the heart of Manchester over two days, the UCAS Convention showed a brilliant display of what the possibilities which the future held. With over 130 universities in the UK and 35,000 degree options to choose from, the convention covered a huge proportion of options aimed at students looking to enter higher education in 2021. Representatives from universities, apprenticeships and conservatoires across the country helped thousands of students to start thinking about their post 18 journeys. Whether there were concerns about student life or struggles to find the right degree, so many resources were at a disposal to help: talks, leaflets and volunteers.
The variety of options opened the eyes of many students, and although overwhelming to some, the convention stirred much excitement. And it wasn’t just the tote bags and pens that interested the students. Gathering multiple prospectuses, which weighed some down over the course of the morning, helped many to explore their future. From St Andrews (a 5 hour drive) to Manchester (a few minutes’ drive away) and the hundreds of other options in between, it was hard to know where to begin! There were just as many options for those who weren’t considering the university pathway; stalls offered potential internships, apprentices and full-time jobs.
If this wasn’t enough, there were options to attend talks hosted by specialists. Ranging from tips on managing your money to simplifying the initially overwhelming process of UCAS, many students came out of the convention with a clearer idea of their post 18 options.
Browsing your future in a room does seem quite scary, but luckily there were many tips readily available for students to encourage them towards the right direction. With so many options, it is important to choose the higher education which will benefit you. Many of the talks suggested to narrow the options down slowly. Maybe start by looking at a career which excites you and choose a relevant degree or option suitable to that. Signing up to the online prospectuses not only saves you the weight of heaving around a stack of books, but allows you to easily browse the possibilities available. After all, they contain vital information for choosing where you’ll potentially study and live for the next few years. The prospectuses include things like student life, transport and societies which can be compared to other options, thinking about what you value most. Many of the universities strongly encourage a visit to their open days, which are usually in the summer. This lets you experience the atmosphere and location: equally as important to consider as the academic side. Finally, don’t forget to look at the UCAS website for more helpful tips and tricks!
Written by Anisha M Year 12