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Maximising the benefits of a pre-course Gap Year

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Presentation on theme: "Maximising the benefits of a pre-course Gap Year"— Presentation transcript:

1 Maximising the benefits of a pre-course Gap Year
The Gap Year Project Maximising the benefits of a pre-course Gap Year

2 Project Team Dr Alan Blackburn Dr Gordon Clark David Pilgrim
Funded by: Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund

3 Project Aims Explore the relative merits of a Gap Year
Develop recommendations for students and University departments Explore some links between taking a gap year and student learning

4 How many people take a gap year?
Varying estimates, 50,000 – 100,000 p/year 20,000 defer Growing market – estimated to treble in next 3-5 years

5 What to do? Stay in the UK Travel Abroad Work for money
Work for experience Travel Volunteer Increase qualifications

6 Research Areas Literature Review Student Focus Groups
Admissions Tutors’ thoughts Phone interviews with gap year organisations

7 Findings from Literature Review
Take time away from study Earn money Work experience See new cultures Learn new skills To do something exciting Time out to ensure best decision is made Gain independence

8 Findings from focus groups
Benefits of taking a gap year Mature during the year Earn money Life experience Come back to University more motivated Work Experience Have an adventure Develop C.V building skills

9 Findings from focus groups
Potential barriers to taking a gap year Lose rhythm of study Forget previous knowledge Money Feel left behind friends Worried parents Girl/Boyfriend Safety/illness worries

10 Does a gap year help you get to University?
“ we look for real-life experience outside of the classroom, evidence of a well rounded personality, able to accept responsibility for their own learning – so we look at gap years in a positive way” Admissions Tutor – De Montford University

11 Results from admissions tutors
Hard Sciences less positive Arts very much in favour All mentioned maturity, ability to settle and likelihood to succeed. Personal development

12 Gap Year Providers Big business – upwards of 300 providers
Providers are at the costly end of market Many cheaper opportunities though, in volunteering sector and domestically. Increasing government involvement New ‘gap year standards’ – market starting to regulate itself. (Year-Out-Group and

13 Key points from research
Structured year is very important Potential gappers need to: clarify aims and costs What will you get from a year out? record experiences / skills acquired Very little research done into gap years Brings different kinds of students into university

14 Final Quotes “ A gap year is proven to put young people ahead in life”
“Two out of three sixth formers want to take a year out or are thinking of doing so” - annual report, 2001

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