Taking your first steps into higher education
Taking your first steps into higher education

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Taking your first steps into higher education

3 What's right for you?

The activity you have just completed highlighted that there are lots of different types of universities. This variation has come about over the last few decades as more and more people have been encouraged to go into higher education. The best-known statement about this was the aim of the Labour government elected in 1997 that 50 per cent of 18–30 year olds should go to university. Although this pledge no longer underpins policy, it is the case that about half of school leavers now go to university.

Knowing that there are different sorts of university is a good basis for making your decisions about HE.

This leads on to the next activity. It’s important to be clear what’s right for you. For example, the reasons why you might imagine yourself at Wolverhampton University rather than the University of Oxford might be that you want to go somewhere local because you have work or caring responsibilities that would make it difficult to move to another area.

Activity 2 What are the important questions for you?

Timing: Allow approximately 20 minutes

This activity builds on the previous one but here the focus is on working out what’s important for you. Having a clear idea of this is vital in order to be able to take your first steps.

Listed below are questions you might find helpful when deciding what sort of university would suit you best. Note some answers in your notebook.

  1. Are you able (or do you want) to travel? If so, how far?
  1. Do you need to balance study with work?
  1. Do you need to balance study with other responsibilities (e.g. family)?
  1. Would studying at a local college suit you best?

Comment

You should see these questions as just a starting point. It would be really useful if you came up with a list of questions that address all the things you need to think through in order to answer the basic question of ‘where should I go to university?’

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