Building bridges… but where do you want to go?
September 2, 2011, 3:05 pm
Filed under: applications, admissions and other such stuff

I think the school-university link is so important in helping students decide upon a career path and both sides try to build bridges to help make the decisions and then the transition, easier.

You’ll find every university and every subject is trying in some way to help pupils see something of what higher education is about.  For the past couple of years Abertay has been working with local schools on projects for the Scottish Baccalaureate. The SB consists of two advanced highers (an advanced higher is roughly equivalent to an A-level) and a cross-discipline project. This year we had a student interested in metallurgy, and as I get excited by metals (!) I was only too happy to supervise. We had our first formal meeting on Friday. The project has to meet certain criteria such as employability, citizenship, entrepreneurship, and it’s not always easy at the start of a project to see how it will develop and cover these points. The school science teacher was a great help in that and hopefully it should be an interesting project.

My other school link this week was giving a talk to another local school about applying to university.  This year’s applications cycle is still not quite finished (Clearing is still going on), but schools are already starting to get pupils thinking about ‘the next step’.

One problem is that often pupils have already made course choices, although I have had a number of phone calls last week from teachers and pupils who wanted to check that their school course choice was suitable for the university course they want to do. This particular school has an evening event for S5 and S6 (years12 and13) and their parents. I often remind applicants that their best two allies in applying to university are their teachers and their parents, and it’s important to keep both informed.

I hope the talk helped parents to understand what their children are going through. I also hope it challenged the pupils to think about the possibilities ahead of them. There is a whole range of exciting subjects they can study (I’d never thought of metallurgy till it appeared as a year 2 option at university).  The world’s your oyster – make the most of it



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