5 ways IntoUniversity supports students who feel university isn't right for them

 By Claudia Roberts, IntoUniversity Bristol East

University isn’t for everyone, but some young people feel pressured to go to university when it might not be the right route for them. No matter what your background is, you might prefer to get straight into the world of work and the experiences that it brings.

IntoUniversity aims to raise the aspirations of the children and young people that we work with so that they are truly free to choose which option is right for them. Here are the main ways in which we support students who don’t feel university is right for them:

  1. Mentoring
This is where young people get matched to a student or corporate mentor. They meet regularly and tailor the meetings to the young person’s individual goals. This covers academic and social skills as well as thinking about their future.

  1. Secondary FOCUS
We run workshops in Secondary Schools which cover transferable skills such as leadership and communication. Also in our Year 11 workshop, young people learn about possible Education Choices including apprenticeships, college and university.

     3. Leadership in FOCUS
This is a three day course focusing on developing the young people’s leadership skills and helping them to  understand how they can set and achieve goals. This is great as it can be applied to any area of life and any goals that they might have.

     4. Academic Support
When children and young people come along after school to our Academic Support sessions they either get support with their homework or improve their literacy and numeracy skills whilst learning about a university subject. They are able to build up relationships with staff and volunteers and know that the support is there when they need it.  This really helps them to improve academically, no matter what their future aspirations.  

     5. Staff
All of our staff are passionate about helping young people reach their potential. No one would judge a student for not choosing university or push them to take that path. We are just excited to be in the position to be able to help raise the aspirations of the young people that we work with and let them choose the path that is right for them. 

It is important that we introduce university to the young people we work with at a young age, which is why our Primary FOCUS programme teaches children a lot about it. However, we are making sure that they are aware that university is just one option out of many - we want our children and young people to know that they are capable of going to university if it is the path they want to take.

Claudia Roberts joined us in January 2015 on our graduate scheme. She is now Primary FOCUS Co-ordinator at IntoUniversity Bristol East.

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