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St Helen and St Katharine, Faringdon Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 1BE

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Higher education awaits

On Thursday 23 January the Lower Sixth students attended the Higher Education Evening. It commenced with a talk by Miss Doherty discussing the different options available once we leave St Helen’s and how to make an informed decision to the best route for us. She also told us about our university application timeline, which scarily starts now, so we are all very excited to start researching different universities and their courses. A very helpful tool we discovered was Unifrog, which is a website helping you with various aspects of higher education from a CV creator to a university comparison tool to a full list of available MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

The second half of the evening was given by the Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions at the University of Bath who gave us a very insightful talk on applying to university and life as a student. I found his advice particularly useful as he gave us top tips for our personal statements and interviews that will make us stand out and not be generic. We definitely all realised the importance of learning how to wash and cook before we head off to university, and some of us may be faced by the ‘cooking with £15 pounds’ challenge over half-term which could prove to be testing!

One of the areas highlighted by the evening was the need to go far beyond the A-level course and start delving into MOOCs, lectures and books in our area of interest, to enhance our application and show our interest. As a result of this, lots of us are in the process of researching super curricular opportunities, and I have signed up for a MOOC commencing this half-term.

Overall the whole of Lower Sixth found this event extremely informative and it was a great way to start the process of applications and higher education.

Phoebe L6F

Having attended the Lower Sixth Higher Education Evening, I am now more motivated than ever to write a stand-out personal statement and apply for a competitive university. The evening was centred around an eye-opening talk by Mike Nicholson from the University of Bath, in which he discussed what makes a unique personal statement and the importance of researching universities of interest and attending open days due to how courses can differ significantly depending on the university. Miss Doherty also discussed the application process at St Helen’s as well as an introduction to Unifrog for looking at different courses as well as supercurricular activities.

The evening was particularly useful because not only was the application process for universities discussed in great depth but also alternatives to university were mentioned such as apprentice degrees. Since attending the HE evening and with my intention to study medicine at university, I am now keen to make my application as strong as possible; so by researching medicine courses at different universities and attending open days, I should be able to decide which is best suited for me. The steps involved in the application process and the timeframe of specific UCAS deadlines were explored, which I find reassuring as I now have a well-informed idea of the process.

Hatty L6D

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