The University Visits Programme recommences this week with a visit from the University of Toronto on Tuesday 27th February which will be followed by visits from admissions representatives from a number of high-ranking educational institutions from around the world. Monash University will join us later this week on Thursday 1st March and next week will see visits from Arizona State University (Tuesday 6th March) and the University of British Columbia (Thursday 8th March). Following this, representatives from the University of the Arts London (Monday 12th March) and the Swiss School of Tourism (Wednesday 14th March) will be in our Sixth Form Common Room ready to engage with our students, before a mini-fair of 10 UK institutions takes place on Monday 19th March.
Further visits are in the process of being confirmed and liaison with universities and colleges from all over the world is ongoing as we aim to provide our students with access to specific information about colleges, courses and campus life in general.
Hosting visits from institutions is a perfect way for our students to connect with universities and colleges at an early stage in the application process, allowing them to gain valuable insights and material about the institution, what it has to offer and whether it is a good fit for their individual needs.
The informal environment of the Sixth Form Common Room or Study Room facilitates a relaxed atmosphere for students to engage with the admissions representatives and build relationships that have the potential to be important and useful further down the application process. All of the visits are timetabled to take place either in morning break or lunchtime, meaning students have ample chance to come and make contact with a representative and receive first-hand advice and information. We encourage students to make the most of these opportunities and lay firm foundations for the next stages of the process in the forthcoming 6 or 7 months.
The journey towards application and admission to colleges and universities has recently begun in earnest for our current Year 12 students, with Parent Information Evenings having taken place before the Tet holiday along with some input through ILS sessions. Initial meetings with each student's designated counsellor are due to start next week and these will be based upon a research and reflection task that students have undertaken over the last month. Decision making about university choices can be a complex issue that includes a whole range of academic and non-academic factors.
Preparation is key for success and we want our students to be in possession of as much useful knowledge in order to identify institutions and courses of study that best fit their aspirations and needs.
The University Visits Programme is just one aspect of the support we provide to students, in combination with dedicated counselling provision, workshops on writing statements and application essays and a host of other useful resources. It should be noted that although the primary aim of these visits is to raise awareness and engagement within our Year 12 cohort, the visits are also a fantastic opportunity for students lower down the school to gain some valuable insights and understanding. We therefore encourage any Year 10 or Year 11 students who are looking ahead to post-IB study to attend the visits, which take place at either morning break or in lunchtime, to meet the representatives and ask questions that will help to inform their decisions about IB study and beyond.
For further information and additional resources please visit our dedicated College and University Guidance website.
Simon Finnigan, University Guidance