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Personal Statements Supporting students for successful university applications Access and Student Recruitment.

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Presentation on theme: "Personal Statements Supporting students for successful university applications Access and Student Recruitment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Personal Statements Supporting students for successful university applications Access and Student Recruitment

2 Key Information Personal Statements need to communicate: why the chosen course is suited to them the personal qualities that will benefit the student at university what the student can bring to the university (extra-curricular activities and interests)

3 Access and Student Recruitment Online Submission UCAS Apply – with video tutorial Pasted from a word package Formatting removed 47 lines or 4000 characters including spaces Plagiarism

4 Access and Student Recruitment Supporting Students They must take individual responsibility for the process Thorough research Awareness of parameters Deadlines It’s time for them to learn about pragmatism

5 Access and Student Recruitment Challenges facing Students Low aspirations and/or attainment Small pond syndrome Limited awareness of the competitiveness of applying to University Confidence Pressure(s)

6 Access and Student Recruitment Competitive HEIs What does “competitive” mean: −High expectations for entry alone −High expectations for entry plus intense competition −Institutions (not all programmes) −Programmes (at non-competitive institutions)

7 Why does it matter..?

8 Access and Student Recruitment Competition For Places Many programmes at different institutions are competitive. Are your students fully aware of this? “I can accept the rejection from Cambridge, as so many able students apply, but I could not understand why I … was rejected by the other universities”, which were Durham, Edinburgh and Warwick.”

9 Access and Student Recruitment InstitutionAppsOffersFirms Cambridge Durham Edinburgh Competition For Places

10 Access and Student Recruitment The Application Context GCSEs/equivalent AS/equivalent Results A2/equivalent Predictions Interviews Admissions Tests Academic Reference Personal Statement

11 Access and Student Recruitment Personal Statement Overview Integral part of the UCAS submission With reference may be the only point of contact between the Admissions Tutor and the applicant No single correct way of producing them Every one is read A role to check the application is completed correctly, particularly qualifications

12 Access and Student Recruitment Personal Statement Structure 1.Why do you want to study this subject? 2.What have you done in the past that makes you particularly suitable to study the subject? 3.What else have you done that would contribute to the course and the university community and makes you an interesting and unique individual?

13 Access and Student Recruitment Why this subject? 1.Demonstrate enthusiasm and academic potential 2.Knowledge of the subject area 3.Where it could it lead? 4.What does the subject entail? 5.Why the interest ? 6.Specific interest within the broader subject?

14 Access and Student Recruitment subject choice Enjoyment of subject Why is it important to the student? Why is it enjoyable? Enjoyment of a particular aspect Which aspect stands out from the rest? Why? A current subject in more depth/ A new subject or dimension What is of specific interests within the programme offered? Link to an element of a current course? Interest reinforced by work experience How did work experience help? What did they do/learn? A prerequisite for a chosen career Which career? How does the course fit into plans? Inspiration from a person or event Lecture, visit, book, programme, event, experience, film, protest, legal case?

15 Access and Student Recruitment Experiences thus far Project Work Voluntary work Extra-curricular interests Work experience (e.g. Law, Teaching) Books, Newspapers, journals, blogs Television programmes/documentaries Year out

16 Access and Student Recruitment Personality What makes your students who they are ? What do they enjoy? Hobbies, leisure Sports Extra-curricular Responsibilities/jobs/unpaid Achievements

17 Access and Student Recruitment Tips Original Positive Do not mention individual institutions Avoid starting with a quote Avoid humour Ensure interests and hobbies mentioned relate to the programme choices We don’t wish to see a chronological history of a student Ensure your STAR students shine!

18 Access and Student Recruitment Quotes from Selectors… “The personal statement is a place to demonstrate breadth, depth and dynamism.” “Applicants seem to worry about their lack of work experience. Well it is simply not easy to arrange chemical work experience and I don’t worry about that..”

19 Access and Student Recruitment Quotes from Selectors “We often compare a candidate’s application to the other ones received from his/her school, and finding that every student has the same positive attributes does not fail to give a bad impression.” I want to see a balance between academic interests and extra- curricular. Lots of academic and little or no extra-curr = nerd… whilst lots of extra-curr and no academic means they won’t work hard enough.

20 At Durham University, every form is read in detail… … Students need to draft, draft, and draft again! Access and Student Recruitment

21 Access and Student Recruitment After the Replies Supporting students after receiving their replies is just as important as supporting them in deciding where to apply and their application: −Deciding between offers – select realistic choices for firm and insurance whilst maintaining effort to achieve grades (it’s not over yet!) −Coping with ‘rejection’ – expectations must be realistic from the start. All universities are special so any offer is an achievement!

22 Questions? Access and Student Recruitment


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