University Readiness and Study Abroad
The Study Abroad programme prepares students for UK universities, with emphasis on finding the right fit and giving students the tools to enhance their HE experience.
In today’s world, the opportunities for finding excellent education around the globe are manifold. Yet many students – and their parents and schools/colleges – find it difficult to find the right solution. There is a lot of “selling” going on. There is a lot of “noise” in the market place. Often individuals and institutions fall back on tradition or word of mouth which may work for the student, but more often will either be out of date or will not necessarily offer the best solution for that student’s particular talents and circumstances.
Further, many of the consultancies that offer admissions services to students are agents of particular universities (so, the advice they offer may not always be the most appropriate for a student). The Hearth now offers a UNIVERSITY READINESS programme for study in the United Kingdom, to offer advice which will be tailored to the talent of students and their aspirations; advice which will be objective and informed. We strongly believe that a tailored personal service adapted to specific individual needs is essential in order to ensure success in the hugely competitive and increasingly demanding world of higher education. We also prepare students for the academic life at university and how to handle the change from a school environment. We help students become University Ready, and not merely have an admissions offer in hand.
Timing is a very important factor in the application process. Most British Universities, for example, allocate their places more generously in the earlier weeks of the admissions’ time frame, so it is often an advantage to submit applications as early as possible. We recommend that the initial consultation for institutions of higher education take place during the penultimate year of schooling so as to be well prepared. At this point, for those institutions which require aptitude tests, students can take practice tests in order that we can advise on the necessity or otherwise of extra tuition to achieve the appropriate level of skill.
Increasingly clients come to us prior to the school-leaving years, in order to gain advice on the most advantageous and appropriate selection of subjects for the student’s chosen career or institution. This is an excellent thing to do, and is also helpful in planning suitable work experience placements. However, it is important to bear in mind that students of this age often change their minds during the last year of school as new interests emerge and study strengths develop. Flexibility is the key word here. Advice is always given in such a way as to keep options open as far as is possible.
An ideal timescale for an application to study at British ‘Russell Group’ Universities would be:
- Grade 10: Advice on subject selection for Grades 11-12/A-level/IB, and on work experience.
- Grade 11: Consultation concerning Higher Education; initial preparation of University choices and/or Oxbridge Colleges; Aptitude Tests – assessments; Personal Statements begun.
- Summer holidays: Test preparation; work experience placements undertaken; Personal Statements extended; registration for tests (e.g. TSA, UKCAT, BMAT, LNAT, IELTS)
- First half of Grade 12: Personal Statements completed; mock interviews conducted; University choices confirmed; applications sent.
The application time frames for Britain are:
- Most courses at all Universities except Oxford and Cambridge: Applications can be made from September 1st. Final deadline for overseas students extends until the following June, though the first official regular deadline is 15th January (although as noted above, early applications are recommended).
- Oxford and Cambridge, Medicine and some other courses: 15th October deadline (Please note that deadlines for test registration and submission of work are both before and after this date).