With over 50,000 degrees offered at 360 Higher Education institutions, choosing where and what to study in the UK can be an overwhelming experience. For many students facing this dilemma the sheer number of choices can be terrifying as they feel the pressure to make the ‘right’ choice about this next stage of their education journey.
The fact that this is the first decision that they have a major say in and that it is one that has the potential to dictate the direction of their lives, adds to the pressure. And with plenty of people on hand to give advice, it is not surprising that some students just want to bury their head in the sand…. much to the frustration of concerned parents. In this blog, we share our top tips to help get this important choice right!
So how can a student get some perspective and clarity over their choices? One of the tools that our education advisers at Gabbitas find very valuable in this situation, is an online Student Profiling Assessment.
This simple profiling tool asks the student a number of wide ranging questions that seek to build a picture of the student’s overall interests and strengths, both academic and other. From the information gathered in a simple Yes/No/Maybe set of answers, the assessment is able to match the student with a list of 5 or 6 potential degree paths.
It identifies not only the areas that are of high interest to the student but also their overall suitability for studying each discipline. It takes into account their exam subject choices, their personality and their strengths and weaknesses. So if a student has come up with the potential to study English Literature but it has identified that they hate reading then it would flag this up as a cautionary note.
Not only does this tool highlight the most likely degrees to suit the student but it also shows the different combinations of these degrees available – many of which come as a complete revelation to both student and parent alike! Who knew that you could study Business with Creative Computing or Psychology with English Literature, or Art History with Maths? Armed with this information the assessment then identifies which Universities offer the particular degrees and the different combinations.
The assessment generates a detailed report which our education advisers use as the basis for a debrief with the student and their parents. We feel it is important for a parent to be part of this discussion as we review the information provided in the objective report. During this discussion we start to identify a range of possible degree programmes and universities which we can short list for further investigation.
The report provides links to extra resources so students can do further research into the career opportunities for a particular degree path. There are also links to resources so they can read more about what the course would be like. As advisers we then use this information to check out the courses in more detail, make sure the entry requirements are likely to be met and talk through the type of experience each university would provide in terms of city vs campus living, bright lights vs a more rural location.
The many students who have been through this process have all commented on how valuable they have found it and really appreciated the clarity it has given them, taking them from 50,000 choices to about 5. Suddenly the process of choosing a degree at the right university seems much less overwhelming and instead becomes an exciting search into the possibilities that lie ahead.
“Thank you for going through the options so thoroughly. I think he needed a little structure to start his thought process and this was a great opportunity. He came out feeling as if he understood his progression into university better”