Higher Education-Related Learning: by evJE4k

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									                      Higher Education-Related Learning:
                   Towards a universal theoretical framework
SSAT is strongly promoting the concept of a Higher Education-Related Learning Framework.
The intention of this document is to provide a little more detail on the rationale and particularly
on the shape the emerging framework is taking. It will also provide some specific examples of
activities that might comprise HERL.

Higher Education-Related Learning (HERL) –
What is it and why do we need it?

The quality of provision of student guidance and preparation for HE varies enormously between
types of schools and individual institutions. There is not even a statutory basic level of
provision that we can be confident is being universally applied, let alone any semblance of real
equality of opportunity in this regard. In general terms, and somewhat perversely, support
tends to be less adequate where it is needed most (ie amongst the lower socio-economic
groups, or put another way amongst widening participation target groups). SSAT is currently
promoting the concept of developing an HE-Related Learning framework to be delivered by
schools. This is intended to run in tandem with the Work Related Learning framework and will
be a major step towards ensuring a more universal standard of support, guidance and all-round
preparation for students progressing on to HE. If we have a framework to work towards, all the
various people that are involved in supporting students going into HE, including sixth form staff,
careers teachers, other school staff, Aimhigher personnel, Connexions personal advisers, HE
schools liaison and widening participation co-ordinators, and gifted and talented co-ordinators
might finally find themselves working towards a common goal.

As well as helping to improve standards of support for all students, there are strong national
economic reasons for increasing the number of high-calibre graduates we produce. We also
remain committed to a social justice imperative to ensure that life-enhancing opportunities such
as higher education are available equally to people of all backgrounds. Hence, HERL is
intended to support and guide schools in order that they can better prepare their students, from
any and all backgrounds, for progression into HE and for success once they are at that level. It
is a framework designed to provide motivation for students by helping them to see how their
work at school relates to the wider world and how it might be regarded as a stepping stone onto
bigger and better things (in this case continued study to the higher level and the likelihood of
improved career prospects). The framework is also mindful of the need to support students to
make informed and realistic decisions about their progression pathways including selecting
appropriate courses and careers.


It is not simply about “getting into university” however. It is also about helping students to stay
there for the duration of their course. The drop-out issue is hugely significant and the HERL
framework has a major role to play in improving student retention. It is pre university entry, in
schools, where much of the work, should be done to ensure that less students drop out. There
is always more that can be done once students arrive in HE of course but by this stage we are




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really talking about remedial work and very often it is too late. The importance of pre-entry
work with students can not be overstated if we truly seek to crack the retention issue.

Linked to retention are transition and skills issues. In the recent Nuffield HE Focus Groups
report, HEIs highlighted major shortcomings in students’ skills which are leading to transition
difficulties and higher dropout rates. Employers are also affected by this of course. The HERL
framework pays significant and long overdue attention to providing opportunities for skills
training for students in our schools. This is not just referring to key or core skills but also to
some of the more specific and advanced skills HEIs require from students – for instance critical
thinking, extended writing, independent research, argument construction and self-reflection.


What will HERL look like?

In many ways the HERL concept mirrors the established and statutory Work-Related Learning
Framework. The vision is that HERL will run alongside and also be intertwined with WRL.

The three strands

Work-Related Learning comprises three strands:
• Learning about work – for example, careers information research online and careers speakers
coming to school

• Learning for work – such as CV writing and ICT skills

• Learning through work – including work experience and mini-enterprise



Higher Education-Related Learning should also consist of three strands:
• Learning about HE – such as general university visits, talks in school and researching options
online

• Learning for HE – support through applications and admissions (personal statements and
interviews) and where necessary critical thinking, study skills training, mentoring, exam booster
classes as well

• Learning through HE – including master-classes, summer schools, Higher Education Modules
in Schools and other similar experiences


This process should be supported by the opportunity for students to seek individual guidance
from a named HE Adviser at their school/college. This could be a member of the school staff,
someone from Connexions, or a specialist brought in from another source. The named HE
Adviser should preferably have some guidance training. If they don’t, they should at least have
a commitment through their CPD to improve their one-to-one guidance skills, increase their
knowledge of HE and admissions, and learn continuously about the graduate employment
market.




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What will students learn from HERL?

          About the range of possible opportunities and courses, and the functions of higher
           education, and its contribution to national prosperity.

          About where courses lead, the career opportunities available, and the qualifications,
           skills and attributes required for successful study and employment along a chosen
           pathway

          Higher level study skills and an understanding of their importance

          About the relevance of their work in school and how it can lead to further opportunities
           for both study and employment – ie. how it fits into their progression pathway through life

          About the expectations and requirements of HEIs and about the practicalities of life as a
           student

          About successful applications to HE including, where appropriate, to the most selective
           courses and institutions

          Self-reflection, self-awareness, decision-making and career planning skills



How will students experience and acquire HE-Related Learning?

As with WRL, there will not be one single experience of HERL that is shared by all individual
students, but HERL will certainly move towards a more universal general standard of provision
that all can expect to have access to. But the experiences of students will of course
differ according to their individual needs with learning programmes tailored accordingly. HERL
can take place:

         through the tutorial programme, assemblies, conventions and specially dedicated
          activities
         across the curriculum, with different subjects and courses providing students with
          experiences, opportunities and contexts in which they can develop their understanding of
          HE
         in subject learning (and citizenship and PSHE learning), supplemented by careers
          education and university-related experiences
         in extra-curricular courses that lead to qualifications or credits such as Higher Education
          Modules in Schools or short courses offered by universities, FE or other providers
         through opportunities and programmes offered by HEIs including master-classes,
          mentoring, and summer schools


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Schools can help students to acquire HE-Related Learning by providing opportunities to:


      research course and careers information to develop an awareness of the extent and
       diversity progression opportunities
      see how their own abilities and attributes relate to possible courses and careers (and
       make informed choices about pathways based on an understanding of the available
       alternatives)
      recognise, practise and develop more advanced study skills including critical thinking,
       extended writing, independent learning and research, argument construction and self-
       reflection
      work in a university setting (eg through subject related activities run by HEIs)
      meet and work with staff and students from HEIs
      engage with the exchange of ideas, challenges and independent thinking that is key to
       university study (eg through participation in university-run seminars, master-classes and
       other activities)


How will schools know whether they are providing effective HERL?
As the concept of HERL is further developed it is envisaged that SSAT would provide a
monitoring framework enabling schools to check progress against clear learning outcomes.

Should the provision of HERL become a statutory requirement then it is anticipated that
OFSTED would inspect provision against some suitable framework, as they currently do with
WRL, and that there would be appropriate guidance for schools in advance of this.

It is not suggested that there should be a formal qualification in HERL, although it would be
quite feasible for evidence of the student’s HE-related experience or learning to be included in
his/her progress file and as part of the recording of wider achievements

More broadly HERL can be deemed to have been successful when there is evidence of more
students from the full range of backgrounds making successful applications and entry into HE
(including to the most selective institutions and courses); when there is evidence of students
making more successful transitions into higher education (eg retention rates improve); and
when HEIs report that students are better equipped to handle the pressures and requirements
of higher level study (measurable by the number of completed qualifications and the
quality/grades achieved)




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                             Further guidance for schools
The tables below provide some guidance for schools as to what might comprise a successful
programme for preparing students for HE. Certainly an explicitly defined whole-school
programme is encouraged, setting out the minimum level of intervention the school would seek
to make in each year group. Pre-planning the programme and “getting it down on paper” will
help keep staff focused and can also be used to demonstrate to staff, students, parents/carers
and other stakeholders that the activities they are undertaking are part of a wider, connected
and cohesive process that will facilitate smoother onward progression.

These are suggestions and guidelines only. The tables are intended to give schools an
example of how they might plot in their own programmes and the kinds of considerations they
might wish to take into account. The tables also provide some suggested activities. Again
these are examples only. Other activities might meet the objectives equally well and in practice
there will clearly be some variance over specifics between individual institutions and between
the partnerships forged in order to deliver against the framework. The examples given try to
show consideration of other issues that will be happening in each year group and wherever
possible seek to tie in the HERL activities with the likely wider school scenario. Schools should
always consider ways to ensure that HERL complements and enhances existing work rather
than impeding or compromising it.

It is important to note that preparing students for HE is not the exclusive concern of sixth forms.
It is entirely mistaken to assume that HE-Related Learning is in no way the concern of 11-16
schools. Preparing students for onward progression is surely the business of EVERY school,
and where this progression entails entering HE, the process of preparing students should start
as early as possible. We must move away from the idea, which unfortunately does still exist,
that 11-16 schools need have no interest in HE or indeed in anything that might happen to their
students beyond their immediate post-16 choices. Schools, even 11-16 ones, are meant to
prepare students for life and opportunities beyond the school gates. This doesn’t just mean
preparing them for what they might want to do in the couple of years immediately after they
leave but should also be about providing the foundations and the support to put them on the
right track for progress much beyond those immediate post-school years.

For those schools that do have sixth forms, it is equally important that even staff whose
responsibilities lie further down the year groups are involved in the whole-school HERL
programme and that they appreciate the importance of their contribution to the process of
preparing students for progress into HE wherever that is appropriate. Preparing students
adequately for HE is not simply about some mock interviews and filling in a UCAS form in Year
13. It is a much more long-term commitment, beginning ideally as early as possible and
gradually building in intensity and practicality through the years.




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              Overview of potential HERL intervention points

Years 7 and 8
The school should ensure that an HE element is present in the compulsory Careers Education
and Guidance programme. Possibly using programmes such as Real Game (see table below),
the school should seek to ensure that pupils understand that the level they currently work at can
determine the level of GCSE they eventually take, which can then affect the sixth form courses
they can do, which in turn can then impact on the range of HE courses that will be open to them.
In these early years it is important to help students understand that all these stages are
connected, that they relate directly to each other, and that they will form the student’s pathway
as a whole


Year 9

Spring or summer term
The school should work with students on GCSE/Diploma option choices, possibly using Fast
Tomato, Careerscape Multimedia or Kudos Online (see table below). These programmes will
also cover many of the HE-related essentials


Year 10
In Year 10 work on raising awareness of higher education is useful. This can entail visits to
targeted higher education institutions, and / or talks in school. Wherever possible and
appropriate schools should also seek to relate students’ work experience to HE opportunities
and pathways


Year 11

Winter/spring term
At this point schools should be providing general information about AS/AGCE/Diploma choices
– this might include booklets, talks, use of websites etc. There might also be individual
interviews with an adviser focusing on these choices. Again wherever appropriate these
choices should be linked to potential HE-related progression opportunities


Year 12

Winter term
As sixth form/college begins it is useful to check early on that AS/GCSE choices and GCSE
results meet with stated aspirations. Schools should make sure students understand how the
AS/A2 system works. If work experience is taking place, this should be related wherever
possible to appropriate potential HE opportunities

Spring term
At this point some introductory higher education talks are useful, possibly covering practical
aspects such as course selection, understanding the UCAS system, using information sources,



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graduate employment trends etc. Other useful activities might include a parents evening
focusing on higher education, materials on applying to higher education for all students, a visit
to a higher education convention (or even an –in-house one), and individual interviews about
higher education choices with an adviser

Summer term
Useful activities at this stage, which are already common practice in many schools include visits
to higher education institutions, summer schools, master-classes, gifted and talented classes
related to higher education courses. Schools should also be seeking to support students with
preparation of personal statements, getting basic details onto UCAS Apply, and checking that
applicants for highly selective courses are doing appropriate work experience and / or wider
reading. Students might also be afforded access to individual interviews about higher education
choices with an adviser (especially useful for early applicants). At this stage there might also
be a need to look at students’ AS Results – and support them to decide whether ‘to certificate or
not to certificate’.


Year 13

Winter term
It is definitely useful at this stage for students to have access to individual interviews about
higher education choices with an adviser. Schools should also be ensuring that early applicants
are in a position to meet the mid-October deadline. Additionally schools might consider offering
some form of interview preparation for early applicants and others that need it. Signing off
personal statements is also on the agenda at this point. Schools should be mindful that any
applications for highly selective courses should be sent by half term and art foundation course
applications are also due. Student finance is also a topic that can usefully be covered during
this term.

Spring term
At this point a talk on responding to offers from UCAS and UCAS Extra, and possibly more
information on student finance (including applications) is useful.



Summer term
At this point schools should be supporting students through the confirmation and clearing
process.




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                                                   11-16 HERL Framework
School   Suggested minimum activity                                        Learning outcomes
Year
7        Transition mentoring/ group work involving undergraduates
         from a partner HEI. Semi-regular contact with students from
         an HEI partner can be used to help with school-related
         issues such as the transition from primary to secondary           Students are aware that university is an opportunity that is
         school whilst also providing positive role models and             available and might be appropriate to them when they are older.
         beginning to build an awareness of HE and the idea of             They have a basic understanding of what universities do – ie they
         learning beyond school                                            are places where you can continue learning, sometimes in order
                                                                           to get into a particular job or career, and where you can explore
         Small group visits to university with mentors, as an early        your personal interests whilst gaining qualifications. Students are
         introduction to the existence and the idea of university.         also starting to recognise the link between work ethic and
         These visits are primarily about raising awareness and            opportunity
         should be “light touch” with an emphasis on fun. Activities
         might include something along the lines of Real Game
         http://www.realgame.co.uk/ or similar. This might also be
         suitable for Year 8.



8        Lightweight enjoyable practical activity visits offering fun
         positive early experiences of learning in a university setting.
         Two or three activities of this type will build on Y7             Students have begun to recognise that universities can be fun but
         experiences and provide further familiarisation with the idea     also that they are places for learning/working. Students have
         of university. With a slightly more practical or curriculum-      experienced learning within an HE setting.
         related focus these activities are beginning to introduce the
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          idea of university being a working/learning environment
          whilst still being fun

9         Planning and awareness input around options and future            Students can access and interpret HE information related to
          choices – possibly including university tours and tasters,        potential career choices and also with an emphasis on subject
          university presence at parents evenings/options evenings          choices. Students recognise that the choices they make in school
          etc, vocational/employment-related input from academic            are related to their wider progression into FE/HE and into their
          departments, all aiming to enhance the existing careers           chosen career. Students can show some understanding of the
          education and guidance programme in school. This might            scope of careers and HE opportunities that are available. Where
          be coupled with careers input via Fast Tomato, Kudos or           appropriate and possible, they are beginning to recognise ways in
          similar:                                                          which HE might fit into their overall career plan and where it fits
          http://www.fasttomato.com/                                        into the world of employment and careers generally – ie they are
          http://www.cascaid.co.uk                                          beginning to understand part of the purpose and potential of going
                                                                            to university
10 & 11   Curriculum-related learning activities to support pupils
          through GCSE's (or equivalent) whilst further familiarising
          them with university. Reflecting the importance at this stage
          of working towards qualifications, these activities might         Students are becoming very familiar with learning in an HE
          entail taking topics from the curriculum and learning about       setting, and are able to compare and contrast this with the school
          them in an HE setting possibly with the aid of university staff   experience. Plus they have had contact with a range of people
          and/or students and accessing university resources. All           from the HE sector including students and staff.
          activities should be accompanied by suitable debriefing back      Students can access and interpret HE information related to
          at school, in terms of subject-related learning that has taken    potential career choices and also with an emphasis on subject
          place but also in terms of wider learning about HE and the        choices. Students recognise that their post-16 choices are related
          learning environment it provides                                  to pathways and progression beyond 18. Where appropriate, and
                                                                            possible, they can recognise where HE fits into their overall career
          Planning and awareness input around post-16 options and           plan and where it fits into the world of employment and careers
          future choices – possibly including university tours and          generally – ie they are able to think beyond choosing post 16
          tasters, university presence at parents evenings/options          courses and are looking at potential opportunities and pathways
          evenings etc, vocational/employment-related input from            even further ahead
          academic departments, all aiming to enhance the existing
          careers education and guidance programme in school



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Post-16 HERL Framework


Learning elements.                               Suggested minimum activity                         Specific learning outcomes. Students can:

Students should:
1. Recognise, develop and begin to apply         Students have the opportunity to develop                 describe and demonstrate some of the
study skills required by HEIs                    skills in at least two HE-related activities (eg          main skills required for successful
                                                 critical thinking training or an independent              study at the higher level
                                                 learning assignment)                                     understand why these skills are
                                                 Students have at least one opportunity to                 important and relate them to specific
                                                 discuss the skills they are developing and                tasks that might be asked of them both
                                                 how they relate to HE                                     in HE and also elsewhere
                                                                                                          apply some of these skills to their KS4
                                                                                                           work
2. Use university-related experiences to         Students participate in at least two types of            describe the experiences they have
extend their understanding of HE and how it      activity possibly including visits, master-               had and identify how these have
fits into wider life and society                 classes, summer schools, HEMiS, subject                   increased their understanding of HE
                                                 days etc                                                 apply some of their HE-related
                                                 Students have at least one activity where they            learning to KS4 studies
                                                 learn about how HE fits into the wider world             analyse the relative advantages and
                                                 (eg by finding out why the economy requires               disadvantages of opting for HE as a
                                                 more graduates, the types of careers HE can               progression pathway
                                                 lead to, and the research that universities do           demonstrate an understanding of
                                                 etc)                                                      some of the key developments in the
                                                                                                           HE sector and recognise the key
                                                                                                           functions and purposes of universities
3. Learn about the way HEIs operate, key         Students have at least two opportunities to              demonstrate an understanding of the
processes such as applications and               develop an understanding of various                       different types of institution and
admissions, and rights and responsibilities as   operational aspects of HE, possibly including             courses available
a student.                                       visits, open days, aim higher activities,                interpret HE-related information
                                                 applications workshops etc
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                                                                                                        including course requirements,
                                                                                                        application procedures etc
                                                                                                       demonstrate an understanding of how
                                                                                                        student life is likely to be, including
                                                                                                        recognising some of the freedoms,
                                                                                                        opportunities, responsibilities and
                                                                                                        potential pressures
4. Develop awareness of the extent and              Students spend at least two sessions with          demonstrate an understanding of the
diversity of opportunities in HE                    school staff and/or careers advisers                different types of institution and
                                                    investigating the range of potential options        courses available
                                                    available at the higher level of study. These      begin to relate the existing
                                                    sessions might be task-based to encourage           opportunities to their own skills,
                                                    focused investigation of options                    attributes, strengths, and preferences
5. Recognise their own strengths and                Students have several information, advice          use an interview with a careers
weaknesses, preferences and ambitions, and          and guidance sessions focusing on self-             guidance specialist to develop a
begin relating these to career/course options;      awareness/understanding, progression                clearer idea of suitable progression
and where possible start to make informed           planning, identifying available options and         plans and options
progression choices based on an                     decision making. This should include               reflect on achievements, abilities, skills
understanding of available alternatives             wherever possible a one to one guidance             and interests in order to make realistic
                                                    interview preferably with a trained and             progression choices
                                                    qualified careers adviser. This element might      access and analyse information on
                                                    also include sessions in groups and                 appropriate and available HE
                                                    individually focusing on application and            opportunities
                                                    admissions procedures including forms,             understand the application and
                                                    personal statements, interviews and                 selection requirements of chosen
                                                    admissions tests where applicable                   courses
                                                                                                       prepare strong applications for chosen
                                                                                                        courses and demonstrate an ability to
                                                                                                        perform well at interviews or other
                                                                                                        selection/admissions processes
6. Experience learning activities in a university   Students experience curriculum- related            recognise links between their own
setting and/or context and possibly at higher       learning within an HE setting and style on at       curriculum and study at a higher level
level where appropriate                             least two occasions. This might include            demonstrate an understanding of the
                                                    subject-related visits, master-classes or
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                                              summer schools. There should be at least                 vocabulary, style, and context of
                                              one de-briefing session following these                  learning in an HE setting
                                              activities so that students can reflect on what         recognise similarities and also
                                              they have learned, both academically and                 differences between learning in school
                                              about HE more generally. Additionally, where             and learning in a university
                                              appropriate, learning in the HE context could           demonstrate an ability to self-manage,
                                              actually be at the higher level, for instance            learn independently, think critically etc
                                              through HEMiS or similar provision                       in an HE learning context
                                                                                                      demonstrate an ability to cope with the
                                                                                                       academic rigours of higher level study
                                                                                                       (where applicable – ie where
                                                                                                       participating in HEMiS or similar
                                                                                                       provision)
7. Experience contact with university staff   Students have direct contact on at least two            demonstrate a degree of confidence
and students and develop an understanding     occasions with staff and/or students from HE.            regarding their potential to succeed at
of, and familiarity with, the HE context      Wherever possible these experiences should               the higher level of study
                                              reflect the diversity of staff and students in our      identify positive role models and
                                              universities and they might include visits,              recognise the traits or characteristics
                                              master-classes, summer schools, mentoring                in these that they would like to
                                              etc                                                      emulate
                                                                                                      recognise some of the pressures and
                                                                                                       requirements that they will face if they
                                                                                                       are to succeed in HE
                                                                                                      demonstrate an understanding of the
                                                                                                       diversity of staff, students and
                                                                                                       institutions in the HE sector
                                                                                                      understand the different motivations
                                                                                                       and pathways taken by students in HE
                                                                                                      begin to understand the types of
                                                                                                       attitudes, skills and abilities that are
                                                                                                       required for success in higher level
                                                                                                       study
8. Experience engaging with the exchange of   Students should experience at least one HE-             demonstrate an ability to think critically
ideas and meeting challenges within an HE     related academic activity where they are
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learning context                                exposed to and involved in exchanging ideas,        and creatively,
                                                thinking independently and/or problem-solving      demonstrate an ability to make
                                                                                                    reasoned arguments and understand
                                                                                                    counter-arguments
                                                                                                   recognise why these skills are
                                                                                                    important in the context of higher level
                                                                                                    learning
9. Be able to talk on a one-to-one basis with   Students should have at least one opportunity      talk through their ideas, and ensure
a named HE Adviser                              to talk to an HE adviser                            they are making informed choices




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Essential Activities at post-16 to adequately prepare students for HE
Some schools, particularly in the independent sector, provide a lesson each week to help sixth
form students prepare for university. In these schools it is very much an integral part of the
student’s sixth form programme. It is of course recognised that this amount of time might be
difficult for other types of school to dedicate to such activity, and in any case HE preparation
might not necessarily be appropriate for all students. However the principle of building in
regular sessions for those who are progressing into HE, does develop some sense of continuity
and also enables more extensive support to be offered.

Some essential elements that must be covered to some extent in any preparation programme
would be as follows:

      Self-awareness, decision-making and career planning
      Selecting courses and institutions
      Graduate employment trends
      Applications, UCAS forms, personal statements, etc
      Skills required for studying at higher level (essay writing, learning independently, critical
       thinking etc)
      Student finance
      Money management skills

Little details, but big consequences

Research commissioned by, amongst others, the Higher Education Funding Council for England
(HEFCE) and looking into student drop-out rates has tended to highlight a number of significant
factors causing students to leave university before course completion. These include the
following:

      academic or social expectations not being met by the institution
      inability to self-manage for independent living and study
      course–related issues – ie lack of commitment to the course, false expectations etc
      financial issues
      poor academic progress

Much of this can be tackled in advance or pre-entry to ensure that the student has the best
possible chance of completing the course. Since life is complex, there can never be guarantees
but generally it seems reasonable to assume that the more potential pit-falls can be examined in
advance then the greater the chances of avoiding them. Even if some of the pitfalls appear at
first glance to be minor issues, they can often add to existing uncertainty and prove the deciding
factor in a student deciding whether to stay on a course or to drop out.

Students should be making realistic choices about the subjects they study and schools can help
them to do this and to avoid other factors impacting on choice such as peer pressure or
unrealistic career plans.   Staff supporting students progressing into HE should help them to



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choose courses to which they are intellectually suited and to which they are likely to remain
committed. If students have some prior knowledge, and preferably experience, of HE teaching
styles and the structure of course delivery (eg tutorials, seminars, lectures etc) then this should
ensure that everything does not come as a complete surprise to them on entering HE.

At the transition point between school and HE there are issues for many students around lack of
independence and previous reliance on “spoon-feeding”. In the school context, time
management is often controlled by teachers but at university the student becomes much more
responsible for his/her own time. It is important that students are enabled to develop time-
management skills during school years and before university entry. Similarly the idea of actively
seeking out important information, for instance relating to course assignments, will be new to
many students when they enter HE. Consequently many miss out on vital information and
therefore find themselves at a disadvantage. If it is at all possible schools should consider
ways of developing greater independence amongst their students and although it is difficult to
resist the impulse to do so, should try to avoid “spoon-feeding”.

Factors relating to lifestyle or the social side of things might seem trivial to some. However they
can be just as important as any other factor contributing to drop-out. Students should be
encouraged to think seriously about the lifestyle implications of the HE choices they make. For
instance are they equally at ease in cities and rural locations? Do they prefer the comparative
anonymity they might experience in a large institution or would they prefer the intimacy of a
smaller institution? Would too small an institution be claustrophobic or inhibiting or alternatively
would a large institution prove daunting? Is there a preference for campus living or for being in a
wider community? Is the students’ choice of location prohibitively expensive making socialising
or leisure pursuits difficult? Are the transport links effective enough to meet the student’s
personal needs? And so on.

Linked to both self-management and to lifestyle, is the need for students to be able to adapt to a
more independent style of living at the same time as organising their studies effectively. Life
and domestic skills such as cooking and cleaning, budgeting and paying bills, and dealing with
household administration are all areas students might need to practise beforehand. It might be
difficult for schools to provide all of this kind of support but they might be able to work with
parents/carers to achieve some of this kind of preparation. At the very least some awareness of
these issues could be raised in school.

Most students will have little experience of managing a budget. Clearly this is something they
need to learn about in advance if possible. It is very easy to underestimate the cost of living
and to mismanage what for many will be a relatively meagre budget. This financial difficulty
can of course in turn put pressure on studies. Therefore it is a useful exercise for schools, in
conjunction with parents/carers and with HEIs, to help students understand in advance what
their likely income will be and how much their likely expenditure will be each week or month.


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Information on all of these issues and more can be found in some recommended further
reading as follows:

      Admissions to Higher Education: Advisers’ Directory (AHEAD), edited by Stephen
       Grundy, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, 2007 (this is a directory for advisers
       and contains information related to all aspects of admissions and applications to HE)
      Getting In Getting On, Rob Brown and Mike Chant, UCAS, 2007 (this will help you
       prepare your HE careers education programme)
      The Higher-Education Advisers’ Handbook: Practical Steps for One-to-One Guidance,
       Andy Gardner, Park Parade Publishing 2006 (this will help you to advise students on a
       one-to-one basis)




Stephen Grundy
National Higher Education Programme Coordinator
Specialist Schools and Academies Trust

August 2007




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