In a renewed commitment to supporting the educational aspirations of young people across Cornwall, the University Centre Truro & Penwith once again hosted the Next Steps South West (NSSW) Higher Education Progression Fair.
Over 80 UK higher education providers joined the University Centre and NSSW to raise aspirations amongst Cornwall’s 16-18-year-olds and support them to find their futures with informed choices for their next steps after school or college.
Over 1,500 teenagers from schools and colleges across the county were treated to welcome talks covering higher education choices and application advice before exploring universities and colleges of their choice, with information stands spanning over two floors offering the opportunity to meet staff and discover their options.
For the second year, the University Centre Truro and Penwith and NSSW partnered to host, design and plan the fair following the success of last year’s inaugural event. This year the event again provided invaluable information and signposting 16-18-year-olds exploring their academic options.
Cleeve Jenkins, Deputy Team Leader at the University Centre Truro and Penwith, said: “I am delighted that we were able to host this fantastic event at the University Centre for a second year to ensure 16-18-year-olds in Cornwall receive the best advice and opportunities.
“It was great to see so many students from schools and colleges across the county. The fair was spread across two floors of the purpose-built University Centre building which the students utilised to discuss their options and obtain advice and guidance. I’m so pleased that we were able to work with Next Steps South West again this year and look forward to the event continuing to grow in the future.”
In addition to exploring stands for the many universities in attendance, students also had the opportunity to visit impartial information hubs covering Higher Level Apprenticeships, Student Finance and Gap Years.
Chloe from TSAP Travel who exhibited at the event commented: “It was a brilliant day helping students make informed decisions about their next steps and inspiring them to follow their dreams. It was great to meet a variety of young people from across the county.”
Niki Williams from NSSW, and colleagues Lindy Orchard and David Trowt, who organised and led the event, said: “Going into this year’s event, NSSW wanted to support students in gaining more knowledge of pathways into specific graduate careers and options, therefore ensuring they make informed decisions about their higher education choices. We therefore decided to add a ‘talk to us’ subject specific hub to the event, offering students the opportunity to engage in subject-area conversations.
The specific subject areas —Teaching, Law, Sport, Nursing, and Digital—have been carefully identified through the evaluation of students’ requests for additional information about progression pathways. Through these targeted discussions, we aim to guide and support students in exploring and understanding the diverse opportunities available in their chosen fields, ultimately helping them shape their educational and career trajectories with confidence.”
Student Ambassadors from a range of institutions were on-hand throughout the day to provide peer-to-peer information, striking up conversations with students about specific subjects, what is involved, and specialist student life.
Bangor University exhibited at the event and a representative said: “It was great to see so many external institutions bringing students onto site for the event. Students were engaged and enthusiastic – as well as knowledgeable of the universities in attendance.”
Students in need of advice to support with higher education options are encouraged to visit the NSSW website where they can access a range of support and contact options.
Those interested in studying at the University Centre Truro & Penwith can find out more about the qualifications available, contact information and help to apply here.