University Preparation at Wellington College
This is an important time of year for both Year 11s and Year 12s with regard to preparing university applications. Year 11s need to pick their IB options for Year 12 and Year 12s need to start to finalise their plans for Year 13. We will send off university applications in the first term of Year 13 for most pupils – in some cases as early as the first half term – and so pupils need to have decided on their chosen course and college list before we come back to school at the start of Year 13. They will also need to have organised a work experience placement or internship if they are applying for a vocational degree such as law, medicine or engineering and prepared themselves for any extra assessments that their chosen degree programme may require – Oxford applications for instance require a formal examination in November of Year 13 for most degree subjects.
Year 11 pupils have recently had their mock examinations in school and this is a vitally important preparation for the real examinations in May. Universities regard IGCSEs as very good predictors of performance at degree level and so a good set of results including A and A* grades is an important step on the way to a successful college application.
Younger pupils can best prepare for university by achieving well in school and by developing their own special talents. The information we send to universities covers Years 10 to 12 only and so younger pupils need to discover and work on those things which they excel at, which may well be what they end up studying at university.
We hold lunchtime meetings throughout the year to bring parents and university representatives together – in March we will welcome visits by Leeds University from the UK, Ecole Hotelier Lausanne (EHL), the best known hotel school from Switzerland and Xian Jiaotong Liverpool (XJTL), a local university based in Suzhou. The EHL visitors will be able to talk about career patterns in the hospitality industry and we hope to arrange other career talks of this nature in the near future.
In my role as Director of Higher Education I will be talking to pupils in Years 11 and 12 individually this term to either plan or develop further their applications. In the meantime I will be happy to talk to any parents in the Senior School who wish to come into the office to discuss their own plans for their children’s university education.
Director of Higher Education