A guide to parents

2 Students Discussing with lecturer
Is your son or daughter thinking about applying to university?

Going to university is an exciting time for students of all ages whether they choose to study in the area or away from home. University is indeed an experience of a lifetime and for many students it will be their first time to live away from home. As a parent, we understand that you have your particular concerns and worries and we aim to answer some of questions you may have in this section.

Students at the Urdd Eisteddfod

Universities provide added value in that your child will gain subject knowledge but also a range of transferable skills which will help them in life – including the ability to work independently or as part of a team, communication skills, self management skills and a range of other desirable skills that employers seek.  At the University of Wales Trinity Saint David the opportunity to go on paid and voluntary work placements gives students excellent opportunities for work experience and many lead to permanent jobs with the companies after graduation.

Universities help students to develop independence and social skills.  Living and working with other people gives students the opportunity to develop a range of social skills, whether they are living in a flat with eight other people or attending university from home.  The Students’ Union is the focal point for many students outside lectures and it is where they’ll get to enjoy many social events but also they’ can volunteer to help the Union organise events, work in the shop or bar or join the many sports clubs and societies.  There are also many opportunities to get part-time work at the University by becoming a Student Ambassador, working in the catering and conferences department, sports centre, learning resources.

There are also opportunities for students to study abroad through the university’s links with other universities in the USA and parts of Europe through the EU’s Erasmus programmes.

But, at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David there’s always plenty of support if students experience difficulties from Day 1. Our Students Services Unit is a one-stop-shop for all their needs and can provide advice and guidance on any issue – from academic to personal concerns. Being a small university nobody is lost in a crowd on either of our campuses and we belief that the pastoral care that we provide is exemplary.

You can help your son or daughter

1. Decide on which course

The majority of students choose the university on the basis of the course but the content of courses can differ from one university to another.  They’ll need to research their options to find out exactly what’s involved by looking at university websites and prospectuses, reading Entry Profiles on the UCAS website (http://www.ucas.ac.uk) and visiting Open and Visit Days.

2. Decide on which university

Does he or she want to live away from home or stay close to home?

What is the university’s reputation for a particularly course?

What are the facilities like for studying and socialising?

Will your son or daughter get to pursue social or leisure interests?

How many students are in each class – will they be lost in a crowd?

What added value can the university provide – work placements, study abroad, support services, social and leisure opportunities.

Open and Visit Days are particularly important as not only will you and your child have the opportunity to talk to academic staff about the course, you’ll also get the opportunity to view facilities and talk to support services, including accommodation and student services.

3. Make sure you know what costs are involved and what financial help is available

Other factors for you to consider are the cost of going to university.  Full-time undergraduate courses can last between 1 – 3 years.  Normally 1 year for a Certificate of Higher Education, 2 years for a Diploma or Higher Education and 3 years for a Degree.  You will need to pay tuition fees in each year.  Financial assistance is provided through maintenance grants and loans and many universities offer bursaries to help students make ends meet.