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Higher Education Conference 2022

Higher Education Conference 2022 - student life session

Contributions from leading universities and the return of the Old Stops panel of current undergraduates were the key highlights of this year’s two-day Higher Education Conference.

The conference is held to assist Lower Sixth students with their forthcoming applications for University, Higher and Degree level apprenticeships and the world of work and, for the first time since 2019, all of the seminars and talks were held in-person at school.

This year’s visitors, from the universities of Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Lancaster, encouraged students to consider approaches to the completion of their personal statements, how to prepare for interviews, how to improve their prospects in the employment market and what life will be like as a student.

Our Old Stopfordian panel was able to give personal insights into the experience of being an undergraduate over the last two years, both in terms of academic challenges and the lived experience of being a student.

SGS teaching staff were again willing to share their insights through talks on their experience of the application process, their subjects of study, gap years and what the students have to look forward to at university. This enabled the Lower Sixth crowd to ask lots of questions about life beyond school.

The conference also included a number of workshops covering a wide range of issues with sessions on the likes of Law, applying for overseas study and gap years.

Alongside the support given by departments and form tutors, each student works closely on an individual basis with their UCAS Adviser – a member of the teaching staff who, using their expertise and experience of the Higher Education application process, is able to offer pupils personalised support from the start of the process to pressing the button to send their application! The personalised support on offer also extends to those looking to study abroad, apply to Higher or Degree level apprenticeships or follow other pathways beyond school.

Specialist support for students aiming to apply to study at Oxford or Cambridge, or study Medicine, Veterinary Science or Dentistry continues with teacher-led sessions on a weekly basis. These started in January to give the many students with these ambitions the very best preparation ahead of the start of the Apply 2023 application cycle in their preparations for admissions tests, the completion of written work and the challenge of interviews. This will continue for the remainder of this term and into the Autumn.

In reflecting on the success of this year’s conference, Head of Sixth Form Mr David Stone said: “It was fantastic to be back to normal this year in terms of the running of this important event. Whilst we begin our work preparing the Lower Sixth for their next steps in January, the Conference allows us and the students to focus their minds on the task at hand, whatever their individual ambitions might be.

“We are lucky to be able to utilise our close links with Higher Education providers and our in-house expertise to prepare both pupil and parents; enabling the former to approach their plans for life beyond SGS with support, guidance and confidence.”