15.02.18 John Blauth

University roadshow


I blame Stephen Hawking and his Hadron Collider chums who have clearly broken, or at least bent, time beyond its normal parameters. Somehow my daughter is 18 and in her last year of school. Consequently we are now on a roller-coaster journey to see where she goes when she leaves. Her aim is to read for a degree in Classical Studies.

As well as having quality time with Sophie, I took the opportunity to see how the universities that we visited function in terms of career planning and guidance. I am happy to report that all were in good shape, determined and dedicated to educate young folk exactly as we taxpayers would want them to be.

Prof Gavin Kelly, head of Classics, University of Edinburgh

Prof Gavin Kelly, head of Classics, University of Edinburgh

At King’s London, for example, while Sophie chatted with the Classicists about Homer and Virgil, I checked out a first class interactive engineering display which made a strong point of engaging visitors about future jobs and employment prospects. The young people to whom they were talking are not going to explore the jobs market in detail until 2022 or 2023, yet the University sees part of its mission to ensure that they have all the facts they need for when they do. King’s, in common with all the universities we visited, is keen that students think about careers now, while they have the luxury of time.

We also visited St Andrew’s and Edinburgh Universities. Students from this side of the border pay full English tuition fees (£9,250 per year) as opposed to a max of £1,820 for those who live permanently in Caledonia. And the degree courses are for four years, not three. It’s a high-pressure time to be a student. And a parent!