Demystifying everything about higher education for school leavers and their influencers

In March 2022, the Office for Students website stated ‘that future generations should have equal opportunities to access and succeed in higher education, and to achieve successful and rewarding careers. In a bid to support the government’s goals to increase university participation from underrepresented communities, Careermap is launching the first ever National University Week on the 23rd – 27th May 2022. 

The free, online National University Week event aims to join over 30,000 students, parents, teachers and career advisors who will all be researching the option of university after school. Live Q&A sessions throughout the week will help students understand if University is the right path for them and demystify many of the questions that surround choosing where and what to study. 

Headline statistics from the Government’s ‘Widening participation in higher education 2021 review showed that although HE progression rates of those claiming free school meals is at its

highest recorded level, there are still areas for improvement within specific communities across the country; more focus in these communities is needed to ensure that university education is inclusive and accessible to students from all backgrounds. 

Minister for Higher and Further Education Michelle Donelan said: “University is an unforgettable experience and I know first hand the importance of giving students an opportunity to broaden their horizons, make lifelong friends, and undertake a course which will set them up for a successful future.

“Choosing where and what to study can be daunting however and I am delighted that the first ever National University Week will help school leavers understand more about higher education. 

“I am very firm in my belief that students should be able to make an informed choice about where a course can take them in their future. That is why I am delivering greater transparency for students by instructing universities to reflect this need in their course advertising and taking forward reforms which will give students greater quality and fairer access to higher education.” 

With a 5% increase in applications to universities expected this year, Universities UK, The Student Room and Prospects – along with institutions from around the UK – will be guest speaking during Careermap’s National University Week. They will lead sessions designed to not only inform on the university path, but to generate enthusiasm, confidence and excitement around the student experience post-pandemic. 

During the week, the live sessions will discuss the crucial topics that students need to know when making their choices, including: 

  • Why / what / where to study 
  • How to apply 
  • Student finance 
  • Student mental health and wellbeing 
  • Student life 
  • Graduate outcomes 

Heather Reynolds, Head of National University Week, said: “Deciding to go to university is one of the biggest decisions a young person may make, yet many make this choice based on surprisingly little information. We feel that National University Week is a much needed

opportunity for young people, parents, careers advisers and other influencers to find out more about what to expect.” 

Participating institutions include: University of Dundee, University of Kent, University of Liverpool, University of Plymouth, UA92 and The Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design. 

Visit the website for timetable announcements and to register for updates:

Comments from our supporters

Isobelle Panton, Head of Student Recruitment and Admissions at University Academy 92 (UA92) commented: 

“We are really looking forward to speaking to future University Academy 92 (UA92) students at National University week. UA92 exists to make higher education accessible to everyone, no matter their background, and we know that National University week is completely aligned with this goal. At UA92 we deliver more than a degree, we aim to prepare our students for life, with a deliberately different approach to the traditional education model, focus on character and personal development and industry-inspired courses. The goal of our event will be to empower young people by providing them with tools and techniques on building confidence and unlocking self-belief; as they prepare to make important decisions about the next, exciting chapter of their lives.” 

Calum Fraser, Senior Recruitment Officer from the University of Dundee said: “Here at the University of Dundee we know that there’s a huge amount of deciding factors around why, where and how to study at university. We are excited to have the opportunity during National University Week to deliver a session which will help school leavers find the answers to those burning questions!” 

Robyn Langdon, Schools and Colleges Engagement Team Leader from the University of Plymouth said: “Featuring in National University Week will provide us with the perfect platform to talk to school leavers about how to choose a university and pick a course perfectly suited to them. In our session we will be joined by one of our current students who will be talking about what brought them to Plymouth and their experience at the University, and answering any questions they may have. We can’t wait for the main event!”


About Careermap

Careermap is recognised as the thought leader in the young talent space, providing unrivalled access to quality, independent information that helps young people make informed decisions about their next steps. Our products and services span from the website, to publications and events which are entrenched within the education sector. Every year, over 500,000 job seekers, students, parents, teachers and careers advisors make contact with Careermap products and services such as National Apprenticeship Week, National Graduate Week and National Work Experience Week – all of which deliver unrivalled audience and engagement figures within the sector.