Event helps students to aim higher

Rachel Smyrk from Sussex University talks about student life
Rachel Smyrk from Sussex University talks about student life

A record number attended two information evenings at Collyer’s, looking at the world of Higher Education and emphasising the importance of preparation and research when choosing where to study next.

Almost 500 students and parents enjoyed the informative presentations, which comprised expert guest speakers from Brighton, Chichester and Sussex universities, together with a contribution from current 2nd year Collyer’s students Megan Longdon and Molly Moss, who have been through the UCAS application and interview process in preparation for starting their degrees in September.

Senior Tutor Ian McAlister said: “This was one of many events helping students to navigate the important question of what to do after Collyer’s and as the majority of our students will progress to Higher Education after completing their studies at Collyer’s, it was extremely relevant.

“With Collyer’s consistently outperforming the national statistics on application, it is vital that both students and parents are well informed. Our wonderful speakers broke down the application process, explaining how to begin researching the correct courses and universities and the best way to make a competitive application.”

Ian presented an informative overview of the university application process within the college, paying tribute to the sterling work of Collyer’s staff who help students to make the right decisions: personal tutors, subject teachers, visiting lecturers, careers advisors and event organisers all work hard who to ensure that no Collyer’s student is without expert help, support and guidance, as they plan for the next steps in their education or career.

Having just returned from college trips to the convention at the University of Surrey, and the Oxbridge Conference at Epsom Downs Race Course, many students and parents were keen to understand how applying to university works.

Fay Lofty from Brighton University spoke about constructing competitive personal statements and detailed the long standing relationship Brighton University has with Collyer’s through its ‘COMPACT’ and ‘COMPACT Plus’ schemes. Charlene Alloway and Fran Taylor from Chichester University explained the nuances of personal finance, budget planning and government loans and grants. They also talked about scholarships, bursaries and support for students. The evenings were rounded off with a charming and practical description of student life by Rachel Smyrk, from The University of Sussex. Collyer’s students Megan Longdon and Molly Moss spoke about their experiences applying to university from Collyer’s over the past year.

Megan Longdon said: “It was a great opportunity to help the first year’s through the process”.

Molly Moss added: “I had an incredible amount of support throughout my UCAS application, so it was important for me to volunteer to help tonight to give something back.”

Ian said: “All of the experts were hugely knowledgeable, informative and very keen to share their top-tips with Collyer’s students.

“They were very complimentary about our learners and the ‘mini’ university feel here at Collyer’s, which was great to hear!

Collyer’s Vice Principal, Steve Nicholls was delighted: “I’m delighted that we enjoyed a record attendance of nearly 500 for these presentations and I’m positive that it will help our students as they plan their UCAS applications later in the summer term.

Thanks must go to our guest speakers, the charismatic Ian McAlister and our very own Linda MacLeman and Hannah Roberts, for making these important Higher Education sessions possible.”