Ipswich: Big turn-out at the Waterfront UCS

Students attending the UCAS Higher Education Convention at University Campus Suffolk (general views

Students attending the UCAS Higher Education Convention at University Campus Suffolk (general views). - Credit: Archant/vincent

Finding out about university choices

Students attending the UCAS Higher Education Convention at University Campus Suffolk (general views

Students attending the UCAS Higher Education Convention at University Campus Suffolk (general views). - Credit: Archant/vincent

More than 3,000 students from across the region converged on Ipswich Waterfront yesterday to find out about university choices and opportunities, blth at UCS and right across the country.

The students from sixth forms and colleges were able to find out about options at the Sixth UCAS Higher Education Convention,

The event is held ever year as part of a network of conventions across the country, in order to bring future students together with education providers and university representatives and explore the variety of courses on offer, and a wide range of choices of places to study.

There were more than 120 stands with representatives from as far as Plymouth and Portsmouth to Stirling (Scotland), and Wales.

When I visited all the representatives were busy providing advice and answering questions.

They were pitching their university specialist subjects and strengths, along with their location and other advantages.

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A team from UCS was at the entrance, to point visitors in the right direction.

Katy Jackson, from UCS student recruitment, said: “It is going very well. We have seen a massive increase in applications since tuition fees have been in and there is more interest in going to university.

“They are wanting a career - and are wanting to know what a degree will lead on to.

“We have also had a lot more interest from independent applicants, and parents, wanting to find out about university.

“Some are coming along this afternoon.

“Some students are coming along for interviews with their parents. There is lots of interest.”

I chatted to a group of students from St Benedict’s Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, who were looking at following a range of subjects, from chemistry to veterinary medicine and to American studies.

Patrick King said: “This has been really good for us. It really helps to talk to people.

Joshua Grover said: “It is about choosing the right course, and the right university too.”

Joel Tasker added: “We have got a lot to take away and read now.”

Stallholders reported that students were already well informed, and had done their research, before attending.

Visiting students were also able to attend a range of seminars to get advice on how to apply, how to choose a university or course, student finance and the possibilities of taking a gap year.

Neil McGilliiray, from the University of Stirling, which is a centre of Scottish sports excellence, and also well known for nursing and humanities,

said: “It has been excellent. The students are all very clued up and have ideas of what they want to do.

“We get a lot of students from the south east of England. About 51% of of our students are Scottish and the rest from the UK.”

Stirling had very good transport links, he said, he had flown in to Norwich Airport and travelled from there.

UCS will also be holding and open day for students, who are still considering a course for September 2014, on Friday July 18 at UCVS Ipswich.

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