Linking London NNCO Personal Statement Workshop
The workshop brought together advisers from universities and colleges across London to discuss and learn more about supporting learners as they make an application to higher education. There was a particular focus on how to support BTEC and Access learners write an effective personal statement.
Tim Dhir, Education Liaison Officer from Kingston University presented to the group on research findings from Dr Stephen Jones highlighting how social and cultural capital impact on applicants ability to provide content for their personal statement and presented on some of the facts and figures around learners coming from different school backgrounds and the level of support they receive whilst writing their statement. It was clear that the key for learners regardless of their background is to draw out their experiences in a relevant way ensuring it supports their course choice and what they have been independently researching to enhance their subject knowledge. If you would like to find out more about this research you can see the researchhere and here. Tim then went on to give 10 top tips for learners to consider before putting pen to paper, including ensuring that learners play to their strengths, talk about their relevant skills and gives specific examples.
Attendees then had the opportunity to discuss in small group some of the barriers , in particular BTEC and Access, students face when applying to HE and look at some of the possible solutions and ways forward. It was highlighted that factors such as lack of confidence, language barriers, financial issues, suitable role models and writing skills could all pose potential obstacles and we discussed how support could be put in place with the appreciation that this is something hard to accomplish where resources are limited.
The workshop finished off with a panel session where attendees had the opportunity to ask experts questions relating to the UCAS application process and any specific issue they face with their learners.
Presentations from the day: