Mr Rob Rattray from Leeds Beckett University gave a lecture to all Sixth Form pupils regarding student life, finance, budgeting and fees. Mr Rattray who lectures in Politics and Sociology offered an open review of what support is on offer to pupils who want to attend university and also went through the average living expenditures to demonstrate to pupils how much a typical university student would spend on different items per month. He mentioned how much value universities award to completing an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) and to quote his words how admission tutors react to an EPQ “wow, this pupil has done an EPQ”. The talk went on to cover how maintenance loans are means tested and pupils do not have to pay the money back until they are earning over £27 295. It was discussed how the interest rates on student loans are linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) and due to inflation being at higher than previous years levels the interest on the student loans was higher than normal, however he did mention pupils stop repaying the loan after 30 years and it will not impact on anyone getting a mortgage or any other types of loans.
Year 13 pupils should be thinking about applying for their student finance in the coming weeks via the YouGov (https://www.gov.uk/apply-online-for-student-finance) website. For pupils considering working within the medical profession Mr Rattray mentioned that fully funded and supported courses are available in Wales, if the person were to work there for 2 years after their graduation and how important it is to develop and demonstrate the 6Cs (care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, commitment) when applying to medical courses. Finally, another top tip was to research the reading lists of university courses pupils are applying to so they can build some experiences of these titles into their personal statements and to research courses in-depth, read the different modules available and choose the course with the most interesting modules on offer as different institutions will teach different areas of study under the same course title.