One of the positives to emerge from the pandemic has been the plethora of new initiatives being taken by universities and other organisations to provide insights into careers, universities and courses.
Virtual open days, webinars, online content and lectures, MOOCS, virtual work experience and online summer schools are not only helping to compensate for the restrictions caused by COVID-19, but in some ways they’ve made it easier for young people to access more events and activities to help them research their choices and make effective and competitive applications. Nottingham University’s “Virtual Work Experience and Exploring the Veterinary Profession” MOOC is just one great example of such initiatives and it’s welcomed by other vet schools too.
Universities are all looking for applicants who are self-starters and who seek out opportunities like these. I would therefore urge students in Year 12 who aspire to university to start taking advantage of them if they’re not already doing so.
With that in mind, and with my weekly blogs generally focusing on apprenticeships in England, I’m always happy to give a special mention to universities in Wales. And it just so happens that I’ve received an update from my West Wales correspondent Barrie Clark about another raft of webinars in the offing from Aberystwyth University.
Coming up this month will be an initial series of subject overviews called “Before, During and Beyond” looking at the decisions that need to be made before choosing a degree course, the degree programme itself and how graduates have succeeded after studying the course.
Each webinar will pick out the skills needed to study a particular subject and show how applicants can enrich their UCAS personal statement with the most effective information. Individual tutors will also introduce their courses and connect with graduates working in various disciplines having studied that subject.
The format will be accessible, friendly, informative and participative with lots of opportunities to ask questions. It’s a great chance for 6th form and college students to hear about how to prepare to study undergraduate courses and how graduates’ university experience has prepared them for their current roles.
The webinars will be held on the Channel Talent platform from 5.00pm to 6.00pm on the days shown below. Full details and booking forms will appear over the next few weeks at:
Subject areas and webinar dates are:
|20/5/2021||Politics and International Relations|
|16/6/2021||Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences|
|23/6/2021||Theatre, Film and TV Studies|
One or two additional subjects are expected to be added to the list soon.
Aber are also planning to offer three webinars in June/July themed around student wellbeing and good mental health, which will offer guidance for both the pre-application and post-enrolment phases of the student journey. This is something else that Aber is very experienced in and geared up for.
Meanwhile, Aber has just opened its books for in-person campus tours from Thursdays to Mondays. Within 24 hours of it being announced, 250 applicants requested a visit. Hopefully the ability to arrange visits for teachers and careers practitioners is just around the corner too.
Having mentioned the veterinary profession earlier, Aberystwyth has also become the first university in Wales to open a veterinary school, in collaboration with the Royal Veterinary College, and the first cohort of students on the BVSc Veterinary Science degree will start in September 2021. In the first two years students will be based at Aber followed by three years at the RVC’s Hawkshead Campus in Hertfordshire.
© Alan Bullock, 3/5/2021 (Photo: aber.ac.uk)