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Beyond Bolton School: The Journey to Higher Education

These are challenging times for sixth-form students. In addition to working hard for A-Level examinations, they have many other things to consider: changes to the tuition fee; the increased number of university courses and the enormous variety of information available not only in print but also on the internet. Never before has choosing a course or a place of study been so complicated.

At Bolton School there is a team of advisers who seek to guide the students through every twist and turn of the journey to higher education: helping them make informed decisions; raising their expectations; taking them through each stage of the application process.

Advice is available about applying for higher education not only in UK institutions but also universities overseas. We have placed boys in universities in the US (for example, Yale College recently) and interest is steadily awakening (as elsewhere in the country) in applying to universities elsewhere in the EC (for example, Maastricht, currently an increasingly popular destination for British students).

When the boys have completed their first term in the sixth form, they are introduced to UCAS, the proceedure they must follow to apply to UK universities. Thereafter they have the opportunity to listen to a variety of guest speakers who give presentations about specific or specialist features, such as student finance, applying for medicine, dentistry or veterinary science or applying to the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. Boys who have interests in these specialist fields require additional support (and they have to develop greater expertise through work experience, volunteering, wide reading and even original research). The Higher Education Team, working closely with colleagues in the Careers service and the Extended Project Coordinator, aim to provide a high level of support to help the boys realise their ambitions. The team in its broadest sense consists of the sixth form tutors, the heads of Years 12 and 13 and the Head of Sixth Form.

Responsibility for providing the boys with guidance and directing the application process rests with the Director of Higher Education Applications, Dr Stephen Holland SWH@boltonschool.org

Ryan Sarsfield

Upon leaving Bolton School, Ryan Sarsfield went on to study English Language and Literature at Oxford and said: "Bolton School was fantastic in preparing me for life at university and beyond"