Progressing to Higher Education
Progressing to higher education is, for most of our students, a natural step after completion of A levels. At The Thomas Alleyne Academy we have traditionally had a high percentage of students progressing to university; on average 98% of our students gain a conditional offer from their first choice of university. With over 35,000 degree courses to choose from we ensure students are given access to the right information so they may make an informed choice and gain meaningful postgraduate employment. We guide students and help them make the right course choice as well as supporting them with accommodation, budgeting and postgraduate study. This way they can ascertain whether or not university is the right destination pathway for them. Professional advice, guidance and support is available from our qualified HE Adviser every step of the way. Students need to make informed choices and there is a wealth of advice available on the UCAS website. The ‘how to, TV guides’ on the site are clear and helpful. UCAS are a registered charity, founded in 1994 and they administer up to half a million applications per annum with a record number of applications in 2014 of 608,160 (UCAS, 2015).
All Year 13 students are issued with bespoke UCAS/HE/Gap Year/Apprenticeships and Volunteering Handbook each academic year. The handbook explains how to research for university, course choices, writing a successful personal statement and guidance on applying to Oxbridge, (Cambridge and Oxford), the 24 Russell Group Universities and The Sutton Trust. Student Shadowing days are available at many universities for degree courses. We arrange for students to spend a day with an undergraduate student at these universities and experience what lectures, university life and student accommodation is like. At The Thomas Alleyne Academy we have always ensured that students visit the annual UCAS Higher Education Convention. Summer Schools at universities are very popular as are ‘University Taster Days.’
At the time of writing UCAS is considering European Universities to be part of their admissions system which means that students will be able to apply to European universities through the UK admissions system. Some students are attracted to European universities as the tuition fees are far less expensive than in the UK. Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands teaches all courses in English. For further information visit: www.tue.nl/en
If students are interested in studying abroad many universities offer Sandwich Courses/Erasmus Programmes: (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) which allows students, usually in the third year of their degree course, to study at a partner university. Tuition fees are substantially reduced in (check with individual universities as to the exact amount of tuition fees payable) and these programmes are favoured by employers as the experience is invaluable. Information is available either from UCAS or www.erasmusprogramme.com
The reason we require applicants to submit their applications early is that statistics prove, for The Thomas Alleyne Academy, over 95% of students receive conditional offers within 3 or 4 weeks of submission. All applications are usually completed by the end of October 2018. Deadlines will be issued to all students during the UCAS Study Skills Sessions. These deadlines have been carefully devised throughout the academic year with A Level subject teachers so that students can submit homeworks and coursework in good time. All students have been issued with a professional academic year planner.