Joanna, a law student, and her mum Nikki thinks it helps to have a parent’s perspective when choosing where to study.
Joanna: I’ve always wanted to go to university – it’s definitely the best option for me. I didn’t feel ready to go straight into work after my A-levels, so university is a good way of continuing my education and boosting my skills before getting a job. I looked at local universities, as I wanted to stay at home to study. Many of my friends have applied to universities further away from home, but are now realising the cost of student accommodation and travel.
Nikki: It was easier and cheaper for Joanna to live at home, as she doesn’t drive, plus it’s convenient for her to travel to University by train.
Joanna: I had a conditional offer to study law at the University. I’d previously considered Police Sciences, but felt a Law degree was a good grounding for a career in either law or the police force. I was invited to an applicant day where I spoke to the lecturers in detail about the course. It helped me understand what options were open to me and a good opportunity to attend student finance talks.
Nikki: We looked at what was available at each of Joanna’s chosen universities, in terms of student support, facilities and the location. It’s a very personal choice but I think it really helps to have a parent’s perspective when you’re faced with such an important decision.
Nikki: I’m in a fortunate position as I work at the university and my job involves dealing with applications and enquiries from students every day. I can imagine the whole application process could be quite daunting for some parents if they’ve never been involved in it. Things change from one student recruitment cycle to the next, so even if parents have been through it with their older children, systems may have been updated and work slightly differently now. I think it’s important for parents to support their child all the way through the process.
Joanna: I would say to go to as many Open Days as you can, and really think about what you’re looking for in a university. What works for you wouldn’t necessarily suit someone else, so it’s useful to see how the campus feels when you go for a visit.
Nikki: Try not to rush into your decision. We can help students who have changed their minds about which university they want to go to, whereas it can be a stressful time if they feel they didn’t make the right decision in the first place.