From education to employment

Birmingham City University offers free sessions to help new students prepare for the big move

A two week long programme of masterclasses will help new students prepare and settle at university, following new survey results which highlight young people’s concerns around their move to higher education post-Covid.

Making friends at university is the top worry for Birmingham college leavers, according to research undertaken by Birmingham City University, with 61% of respondents in a recent poll suggesting meeting new people was more of a concern for prospective students than managing money or finding motivation to study.

Despite prospective students being under additional pressure as a result of the pandemic, university is in demand more than ever before, with many students focussing on wanting to stay closer to home and study vocational degrees which will lead directly into a secure graduate job.

Following eighteen months of disruption for UK school-goers and university students as a result of the pandemic and associated lockdowns, Birmingham City University will be presenting a two week long programme of masterclasses and resources to help new and existing students to prepare for university this summer.

Get Ready for Uni: Live, running between Monday 19 July and Friday 30 July, features sessions on managing finances, how to look after your wellbeing, how to adapt to university study, and making the most of your summer. Sessions are open to anyone preparing to enter higher education regardless of where they plan to study. Watch back facilities will be made available as a free resource to be accessed by all interested in university study

The two week series of hour long online sessions at 11am also includes a Q&A with Birmingham City University Media, English and Drama, and Interior Design graduates Scott Campbell, Ella Cockerton, and Claire Watts – now working for ITV, Birmingham Royal ballet and IKEA respectively – on kickstarting your career in media and TV, volunteering whilst at university and making a home for the first time.

BCU students Josi Hengstwerth, Olivia Johnson, Caitlin Neal and Daisy Brown will be sharing their tips and experiences on making friends and meeting new people, ahead of the new academic year starting this September, with attendees able to ask questions via a Q&A section.

Caitlin Neal, a second year student on the Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Security Studies course at BCU, said, “My favourite way to make friends at university has been through living in student halls not only the people I live with and was lucky enough to get to know but talking to my neighbours having events at one another’s flats. Don’t worry about COVID getting in the way of meeting people or if you’re a commuter – there are plenty of other ways to make friends! I have made some amazing friends through societies, my lectures and volunteering.”

The survey findings also revealed that 56% of the 94 young people aged between 17 and 18 from across the West Midlands polled were nervous about starting university, and that 47% felt partly prepared for the transition.

Chatting with friends online, watching streaming services, and learning a new skill ranked top of the activities respondents enjoyed most to stay motivated during lockdowns and homeschooling.

49% of those surveyed expressed an interest in taking part in sessions to be productive and manage time ahead of starting university, and 48% were keen to learn more about self-care and mindfulness.

Get Ready for Uni: Live, running between Monday 19 July and Friday 30 July, is free to book.

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