UCAS - looking further afield

Dated: 22 June 2023

 At Royal Holloway
This year, as an additional part of our extensive support programme for UCAS university applications, we have been taking students further afield to look and think about universities outside of London. We ran two trips, one to Bath to check out University of Bath and University of Bristol, and one to Brighton to look at University of Sussex and Royal Holloway, University of London.
Our Careers Manager Rachel Foster told us “The students had a fantastic time and were really engaged at the universities. We stayed at a youth hostel in Bath, but it was so fabulous the students thought it was more like an hotel. In the evening we all sat outside playing board games, watching the sunset.
It was a really good opportunity for the students to be able to compare different universities - both Bath and Bristol, and then the second trip to Sussex and Royal Holloway were really good examples of very different types of university and I think that showed students how actually going and visiting them is the best way to work out which one is right for them.
Some really preferred the city while others felt much safer on a student campus. It was really good for the confidence of some students to be able to have free time and go and explore the cities and see what it’s like in other towns - Bath was a real eye-opener for some of them as they had never been somewhere so historic and small, quite a few liked the idea of studying there.
It was also really interesting to see how the students valued the trips in different ways - some said it was great to meet other students and have a really good social experience. For others, it helped clarify what sort of university they wanted to go to and having spoken to ambassadors at the universities some were better able to work out what courses they wanted to do.
Overall, they were really valuable trips because a lot of our students wouldn’t have gone to visit universities outside of London on their own. Also, they are talking about the trips and their experience to their peers, so hopefully it’ll feed across to other students the importance of going out and visiting universities and also to be open minded and consider universities that perhaps they hadn’t thought of before."
We were lucky enough to get some funding from the Jack Petchey Foundation enabling us to run the trips at a really low cost and for bursary students we were able to give them pack lunches and money towards their evening meals out. This year is the first time we have done residential university trips.
Additionally, we took two groups to the UCAS fair at The University of East London at the beginning of June and later this week we have 100 students going to the UK University search fair at Tottenham stadium. Altogether we’ve had around 300 students getting outside of college to look into universities this month, which is just great.”
Student Sargam told us “Visiting these universities was helpful. I really appreciate the college organising the trip for us. I learned a lot of useful information to help with my personal statement and it helped me to feel more confident about life and managing finances at university, and building a social life. I hope to apply for a maths degree."
Mariella agreed “The entire trip helped to reassure me with my decisions for my university applications. It was very eye-opening and helped to highlight the options available to me. I hope to apply for a business and management degree”
Sohana said “It was really inspiring. It made me believe in my ambitions for myself. It made me realise no matter what position or situation you are in there is an alternative and a good option."
Kudzai said “It was a nice experience to speak to people at Woodhouse I have never spoken before. And to talk to the student ambassadors who were studying at the universities and hear about their experiences and how varied they were. It was reassuring and consolidated my knowledge and gave me lots more information. I hope to apply for accounting and finance or law.”
Hannah said "Visiting the university campuses impacted on my decisions and which universities I will apply to. It helped me narrow down my university choices."
Aser told us "I enjoyed the atmosphere of the university campuses and Brighton. They felt very different to London. I would probably not have visited these universities and the trip helped me consider studying outside of London. I am applying for biomedical sciences.”
Theo summed it up well "It was a good trip. I really enjoyed spending time with a group of people I didn't know before the trip. I am applying for medicine. Brighton was more fun North Finchley - but the seagulls stole our churros!”

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