The Education Guidance Service offers independent academic advice and guidance to future and current students. It is a resource available to support students in managing their learning successfully. Almost two thirds of users are students who bring for discussion a wider range of academic issues. These include diverse study matters, time management and deadlines, assessment, re-registration and progression, course transfer, temporary or permanent withdrawal. In many cases, there are complex interactions between academic and wider issues relating to the effective management of learning. We work with Faculties, Departments and other parts of Student and Academic Services to provide guidance and support responsive to individual need. A high proportion of student users are self-referred or come as a result of recommendation by another student, which is an indication of the value students place on the Service. Appointments were held with members of staff, most of whom were considering enrolling on a course through the Head start programmer.
A third of users are people from the local Region students who are considering applying to the University for Courses at either undergraduate or postgraduate level. The importance of pre-entry guidance and preparation is increasingly seen as a critical factor in supporting students through to success. We are an impartial service, aiming to ensure that the expectations which students have of their course are clearly aligned with their needs. We encourage potential students to reflect on what they are really looking discuss what to expect from studying at HE level, and consider how best to prepare. We offer specialist Education Guidance Service for international students (including immigration advice) and work closely with other specialist services such as Drop-in Student Support, the Counseling Service, Careers and Employment, the Disabled Student Support Team, Student Financial Support Office and the Students’ Union Advice Centre. Non-students users are in the main people, usually over the age of 20, who were seeking pre-entry guidance on courses available, the experience of higher education, and how best to prepare.
The Education Guidance Service was used well by students from all four faculties. In line with student numbers, usage was highest by students from the Faculty of Development and Society. Levels of usage by students from the other three Faculties are fairly even. Full-time undergraduate student continue to be heaviest users of the Service. Postgraduate and part-time students continue to be under-represented against their numbers in the University, accounting for 8% and 7% of appointments respectively. However, students and members of staff used the Service to explore future opportunities for postgraduate study. 60% of pre-entry appointments related to undergraduate study. Many of these appointments were made by people who did not progress to higher education on leaving school. This is an indication of the significant role played by education guidance in supporting the application and transition of non-traditional students. Also included in this number are appointments made by people who had formerly withdrawn from higher education. In the coming academic year, we look forward to the start of a research project which will investigate this question with students who have used the Education Guidance Service.