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We've gathered a wide range of resources to help you explore the benefits of Higher Education & how to get there.

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Bust some myths

I have to live away from home if I go to Uni
  • I have to live away from home if I go to Uni
  • Uni doesn’t offer ‘hands-on’ work experience
  • I won't get a job or a good salary after uni
  • I won’t get the grades to go to university
  • There's too many graduates and not enough jobs
  • I can only go to Uni if I like academic subjects like Maths and English
  • I will always be paying my student loan off
  • I won’t be able to afford to make my student loan repayments

For many, university remains a chance to move away from home and embrace all the thrills and spills of living independently. However, an increasing number of students choose to stay at home and commute to their chosen university or college.

Having confidence in your choice, of course, remains your priority, after which, the choice of where you want to live is completely yours.

An increasing number of courses offer industry experience, for Bachelor degrees this may be referred to as a ‘Year in Industry’ or ‘Sandwich degree’. It is an opportunity to spend a year working in the industry related to your course. This is usually taken in the second or third year and gives you a great introduction to the reality of working in the job you are working towards.

On average, those with a higher education qualification will earn more over their lifetime and will be less likely to experience periods of unemployment (compared to those who leave education at age 18).

Higher education also equips students with a range of transferable skills. While some courses take you directly into a chosen profession, many employers recruit regardless of the choice of degree subject. They’re more interested in the skills you have and how you will apply them.

During your research, ask universities and colleges about opportunities to gain work experience as part of your studies. Also, explore options around higher and degree apprenticeships.

Websites such as UniStats will allow you to compare universities and their courses across a range of criteria – including graduate employability.

You will need to complete Level 3 qualifications (A level, access to higher education diploma, advanced apprenticeship) to access higher education. There is a range of courses available with a variety of different entry requirements. Don’t rule it out until you’ve looked into all the possibilities.

By 2022, the UK is predicted to not have enough graduates compared with the number of jobs demanding them! There will be a need for workers with Level 4+ qualifications – that includes degrees, as well as other vocational qualifications such as HNDs.

So there is a need for people to be going to university and gaining the skills needed for the jobs of the future!

You can study almost anything that interests you and it doesn’t have to be all academic-based. Courses can be practical, theory-based, creative – or a complete mixture.

If you like the sound of a course, find out more - what is the content of the course? How is it assessed? Speak to current students on that course – either when you visit a university or college or via online platforms such as studentroom.co.uk 

Look at the course content and assessment sections to find out what type of work you’ll be doing.

Ignore misleading press headlines. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, just 17% of students will have to pay back everything they have borrowed. How long it takes depends on how much you earn, however, after 30 years, your student loan is wiped regardless of how much you have left to pay.

According to Martin Lewis from moneysavingexpert.com:

“What you repay solely depends on what you earn after university. In effect, this is financially a ‘no win no fee’ education. Those who earn a lot after leaving university will repay a lot. Those who don’t gain too much financially from going to university will repay little or nothing."

You do not start repaying anything you have borrowed until you start earning £25,000 or more after you have graduated. Repayments are taken each month from your salary and are charged at 9% of what you earn.

What other learners have to say

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I just wanted to say a massive, huge thanks to you again for organizing the event. I’m beyond grateful for being able to attend something so fab! It’s been such a useful 3 days that I will carry with me for the rest of my acting ca...

Blanca Corbelli

Uni:4U Performing Arts, Arden School of Theatre and Performance

Read Blanca Corbellis story
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The programme had an impact in a way where I’ve gained a greater insight into the young people of today…It’s eye-opening with what dreams they have and what they would like to achieve in their lives. Working on the programme has been ben...

Phill Evans

Mentor, Y12 Mentoring

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The Higher Education Thesaurus

Post-16 Y12


Uni:4U is a programme of free events that take place across Greater Manchester. They give you the chance to gain experience of university life, through taking part in activities and working with current HE students and students from other schools. Some of our Uni:4U events are residential, which provides the opportunity for you to stay in halls of residence.

For all events, food and transport are provided.

Download our Uni:4U programme

Post-16 Y12/13

Online Mentoring

All communication is via Brightside’s online platform, which means secure access anytime, anywhere! You will be matched with an online mentor and they will send and receive messages, and complete e-learning activities designed to support you.

HE Explore Programme
Duration: 12 weeks
You will receive support with the researching of institution/course choices, including what to do at open days. Your mentors will be a current HE student.

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