【高中】英國大學申請指南 | A guide to the UK University Application Process
Senior School students in China seeking higher education oversees, view the UK as a respected and popular destination: 4 of the Top Ten Universities in 2021 (as ranked by QS, the preferred ranking system in China) are in the UK. With a comparatively straightforward application process, and the potential to progress through an Undergraduate degree to a Masters-level degree in 4 years, UK universities are attractive.
There are a wide range of UK universities for students and making a choice can be challenging. Consider the university’s ranking overall, but you should also consider the rating of individual departments. The next decision is your choice of subject (sometimes referred to as a Major). Also, a key consideration should be your likely living expenses: the cost of living in the UK can vary widely.
What is it like to learn in a UK University?
As an undergraduate at a UK University, you will experience a different type of teaching and learning. There are three main formats, and some additional experiences such as problem-based learning, if you study, for example, medicine.
In a lecture, a professor might address over 100 students in a presentation that can last up to two hours. A lot of information will be introduced and covered at pace, and pre-reading materials are essential for students who want to fully follow the topics.
Seminars supplement and extend the knowledge acquired in lectures through further reading and small-group discussion. Tutorials are small group discussion meetings the main purpose of which is to answer any questions, collect feedback and check progress on assignments.
You can expect a range of facilities and services to support your academic work. Libraries are usually open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are well-stocked with developed collections. Sometimes libraries will have specialist collections, also, registered students can apply for an inter-library loan if a specific title is required. There will also be a variety of different areas for study and meeting, including in many universities, individual study rooms – these are popular in the run-up to examinations! Language support in EAP and academic writing and skills are offered, as well as guidance in database use, bibliography building and citation, for example.
What are the cultural advantages of life in the UK?
The cultural advantages of life in the UK are myriad. Beyond the U.K. and Ireland, Europe is little more than an hour away by air, and reachable by rail, road, and sea. It is easy to apply for a Schengen visa permitting travel through European countries.
How does the application system work?
The UK University applications system is called UCAS which is the acronym for the University and Colleges Application Service. It is a centralized service meaning that one application here will be submitted to up to 5 university courses: think of it as a platform for matching students and universities. Within the 5 course choices you elect a first choice (the one you want to attend most strongly, and for which you hold, or expect to hold, the entry grades). Also elect an ‘insurance’ choice; according to your own level of progress and learning, this is the university course for which you feel you meet or will comfortably meet the entrance requirements.
The Four Main Steps
First, set up an online UCAS account – your school will help you do this.
Enter your personal details and educational background.
Enter your course choices.
Next, enter your personal statement.
Finally, your school will enter a reference (and predicted grades, for students applying before they have their Grade 12 results).
Click ‘Pay and Send’ and that is your application sent.
How do UK universities shortlist students?
Generally, admissions officers review application and consult with target professors; in the UK this is subject focused (and you should use this fact to guide your approach in your personal statement). Admissions teams look for students with clear academic abilities, and candidates should show that they enjoy their subject. Candidates should also show their potential for further learning and ongoing interest in the subject. At this stage, your application will be compared with those of other students, and be prepared, it can be hard!
What can students do to prepare?
In a nutshell, during Senior School you should try to follow these key steps grade-by-grade:
· Senior years 1 and 2 – with your teachers, tutor and alumni, figure out your direction and develop your interest.
· Senior year 3 – focus on your target discipline and decide on a subject; also, focus to make clear academic progress and achieve a breakthrough!
· Senior year 4 – really go for it! With your application submitted, make all the effort to achieve the grades you need.
What should be avoided?
Focusing only on your core subjects and neglecting to develop your English proficiency – keep both in balance.
Running late to find your subject – aim to use all of the School’s enrichment opportunities to explore your interest fully over Senior years 1 and 2.
Exhaustively documenting non-academic activities in the Personal Statement – target this to your subject instead.
Starting to ‘read around’ your subject too late – get an early start and consume documentaries, journals and books.
What should parents do?
In short, parents should aim to macro manage, not micro manage; the school has a tried and tested process by which students are supported in making strong applications to the best UK universities. Help your child decide for themselves which university to apply to and which course to study by attending school workshops and meetings, and by discussing and exploring with your son or daughter. Use the school’s experts and tutors and communicate any concerns.
Believe in your child and encourage! Help them keep a balanced and motivated mindset; often, what to study at university, and where, is the first big life decision a student makes and it can be experienced as stressful, without the right support.
How does the Senior School at FCG support competitive applications to UK universities?
FCG’s careers and university provision is wide ranging; there is always an expert available to hear student questions, read work-in-progress personal statements and explore motivation. More formal provision includes:
Personal Tutor – Every pupil has a personal tutor who works under the direction of the University and Careers Tutor to help students access the information they need. Tutors also help students to know themselves, establish a sense of direct and achieve a clear line of sight. And tutors help their students plan and schedule enrichment activities and experiences, such as competitions, summer schools, internships, and experiments.
Information Events – Seminars and talks for students and parents help our students get familiar with all university systems, not only the UK.
Tracking – The academic team tracks and monitors progress in subjects and in English proficiency and helps students strategy plan for entrance and language tests.
Alumni – Students access an alumni network that spans the world supported by alumni from Fettes College, and from Bright Scholar schools.