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Even Top University STEM Applicants must have a Plan B

A leading educational charity has warned that even high achieving ‘A‘ level students applying for university entrance this year must line up a “Plan B” in case they are unsuccessful in their applications.

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PRLog - July 1, 2011 - As ‘A’ Level students come to the end of their exams a leading educational charity has warned that even high achieving ‘A‘ level students applying for university entrance this year must line up a “Plan B” in case they are unsuccessful in their applications.

EDT works with 30,000 school pupils annually to encourage them into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and careers and is concerned that, because of the bulge in applications due to next year’s fee rises, thousands of students who are pinning their hopes on a university place from the Autumn will be disappointed and suddenly find themselves without a viable alternative plan and with little time to develop one.

EDT Chief Executive, Gordon Mizner says, “Informed sources estimate that as much as a third of this years applicants for university may be disappointed and it is likely that a good proportion of these will be very able students who, in any other year, would have had no problem securing a place. It is likely that this year the top universities will not be forgiving of students who fail to achieve their offers by small margins. It is possible that a student’s second choice university will not have the capacity to take on additional students, having already filled their places with students who have chosen them first. In this situation even a student that has achieved AAB against an AAA offer may struggle to secure a university place for the coming year.”

Mizner says that students and their parents must think through their options for this eventuality:

“These students will suddenly find themselves with an unplanned year on their hands and with the prospect of much higher fees for their future university career when they reapply the following year. They will therefore want to enter paid employment that is relevant to their degrees and future career prospects. Such opportunities are not easily available, take some seeking out, and will disappear quickly. The wise students will spend time between finishing their ‘A’ levels and receiving their results exploring exactly what their options are so they can swing their Plan B into action in the event of missing their target grades.”

Mizner points to his own charity’s “The Year in Industry” programme as the type of “Plan B” option that will be in great demand. The programme places post ‘A’ Level students going on to STEM subjects at university in paid working gap years with leading science, engineering and technology companies such as Rolls Royce, Eon and Shell. Demand for places for next year has held up well but the charity is extending its deadline to allow students to apply for places once ‘A’ level results are known.

“We will want to be filling these places quickly once results are known and the students who have researched the programme, drafted their applications and prepared their references will be in pole position to grasp the opportunity. In the context of the numbers of students expected to miss out on university this year, places on the Year in Industry are limited but will provide a really valuable option for those who have properly prepared their “Plan B”. These students will quickly throw off their disappointment about university and find that their alternative is positively enhancing their future career prospects.”


Media Contacts:

Andrew Third, Integra Communications Ltd,
0115 912 4350,       andrew@integracommunications.co.uk

Penny Tysoe, Marketing and Communications Manager, EDT,
01707 871528          p.tysoe@etrust.org.uk

Notes for Editors

Dr Gordon Mizner is available for interview

About EDT
The EDT is the leading organisation working to inspire young people into careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through business/education links. Having worked in this area for 25 years and having national reach, EDT is expert in encouraging students to focus on the opportunities that STEM careers can offer. The recent merger with the Industrial Trust has consolidated the support which is available so that the EDT is the largest partner for schools, colleges, and businesses looking to encourage STEM careers and is also the partner offering the most diverse range of activities.

Informing Choice
The EDT works in partnership with schools, colleges, universities and businesses to allow students from the age of twelve through to graduate level to interact with people in businesses that rely on STEM skills, providing them with the insights and role models that will allow them to make informed subject choices at GSCE, A Level and degree level. Programmes can be as short as one day or as long as a year and currently engage over 30,000 students each year. The EDT has a strong base of evidence showing the effectiveness of these programmes in influencing students towards STEM choices and, given the right support, aspires to engage twice this number of students in STEM activities to inform their career choices.

Widening participation
The EDT is particularly keen to engage hard to reach groups including girls, children from ethnic minorities, and children in families where they are the first to be able to pursue courses and careers in STEM subjects. For this reason a range of “widening participation” programmes of just a single day have been developed for these groups alongside the EDT’s core programmes.

About the Year in Industry
The Year in Industry (YINI) is the UK’s leading student placement expert.

We provide high-quality, paid, degree relevant placements for students in their gap year before or during their degree course.  The scheme specialises in placements for students interested in all areas of engineering, science, IT, e-commerce, business, marketing, finance and logistics. Students are carefully matched with companies throughout the UK and placements generally run over a 9-12 month period in line with the academic year.

We place students with 300 top UK companies every year including Shell, Rolls Royce, British Energy, L’Oreal, Network Rail and AstraZeneca.

All our placements give students the skills and knowledge employers are looking, the experience will help them make the most of university – and earn while they learn.

Teachers & Parents
YINI guarantees that students are set on the fast track to their future career.  At this crucial stage of their education students have many decisions to make about going to university and the merits of a gap year placement. Finding out more about YINI will help with these important decisions.

75% of YINI students go straight into employment after graduation
25% of YINI student in recent years are being sponsored through university

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Source:Andrew Third
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