UCAS Convention 2018

On Friday 29th June, our year 12 students travelled to the University of Bedford in order to sample the wide range of universities from across the UK that came to promote themselves at the UCAS event.

There were three main parts to the exhibition- the university stalls, stocked with prospectuses and manned by students and lecturers; the talks, to help visitors gain insight into different academic fields they showed an interest in, and finally the sampling/promotion of student life at the University of Bedford.

The one hundred and fifty-six different stalls meant those attending did not lack choice in what they searched for, whether it was the traditional Oxbridge experience, or a more immediate entrance into the workforce through the National Apprenticeship Service. Each one had at least a single person knowledgeable about the university, all of whom were polite and helpful- although a tad stingy in the distribution of their free promotional goods. (Based on the number of students attending the event, this was probably to avoid losing all of the stock in the first hour of the exhibition). Students wandered- or in some cases, marched- from stand to stand, asking questions, collecting prospectuses and generally making the most of the resources accumulated in the marquee and sports hall.

Regularly scheduled topics were held on subjects ranging from the application process, to the categories of courses and comparing them, to making the most of university and student life. They gave relevant, concise information to help the students make informed decisions before the official applications begin next year. This diversity in topics represents not only the variety of employment opportunities in today’s society, but also how universities have created and adapted these courses to help their students fill these jobs. Lecturers were clear in their presentation and interacted with students to get them involved. These talks were helpful, and often reminded the students to return to the stalls to ask new questions of the universities they were interested in.

The host of the event was no less prominent in the proceedings. By having the different talks and stalls in different areas, students and teachers had to walk through the campus like an informal tour of the designated paths. The exhibition also allowed them to showcase their facilities to those who would soon be applying to universities. And throughout the day, their dance group gave performances to those awaiting their coaches or pausing on route to another location.

All this created a helpful and interesting day for the students from Sharnbrook who attended, and provides yet another example of Sharnbrook Academy’s efforts to ensure not only academic progression but also ensuring students are working towards a more long-term goal than just A-Levels.

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