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Opening up the UniBox

Welcome to UniBox – a box full of tools, news and views to help education professionals give great advice to young people who want to go to university.

UniBox is run by the University of East Anglia (UEA) but it’s not just for UEA and those who wish to study there. We will be looking at issues affecting prospective students around the whole of the UK, whether they want to study at home or abroad.

UniBoi, in many ways, a response to the many criticisms in recent years of the standard of careers advice given to young people.

This summer, for example, a study by The Student Room found what it called a “black hole” in school careers advice, with 23% of 6000 survey respondents saying they did not get enough information about which A levels to take in relation to degree requirements. Around a third of students who responded rated the careers advice they had received as 4 or lower out of 10. And they ranked teachers and careers advisers as only the sixth most useful source of advice when researching university choices.

There is, of course, a huge amount of information available to prospective students and their advisers (the UCAS website is an excellent example, with its full and clear guidance on the university application process).

UniBox aims to be a resource that adds to the existing provision, signposting you to what’s already there but also voicing opinions and promoting debate about the things would-be students will face in getting to, and succeeding at, university.

So whether we’re flagging up a major policy debate, posting an item of news that’s pertinent to university applications or simply suggesting a reading-list for a particular subject, please contribute with a comment or a tweet us @the_UniBox. If there’s a burning issue you want to blog about on this website, good practice on careers advice that you want to share, or success stories we can all learn from, please contact us. If you think we should be looking at a particular topic, please tell us.

Heading off to university is a thrilling thing. But it is fraught with scares along the way, from the future-defining seriousness of choosing A level subjects, the strangely impersonal business of application form-filling, the racing pulse on results day and then arriving somewhere completely new and being left to fend for oneself.

Those young people have to make their own choices (and, yes, their own mistakes) but they look to us to be sure those choices are well-informed. Many will not have a clear vision of the path ahead of them, and may need help to bring it into focus. Perhaps they would be better off studying in such a way that they can get knowledge and experience that will leave their career options open.

We think they should know what to expect when they are deciding where they want to go and what they want to study. They should understand the demands that will be placed upon them and the opportunities they can seize, the implications of going down one path rather than another. We believe they should know what life will be like, and how to take care of themselves, if and when they get to university.

Like you, we want them to do well. Please let us know how UniBox can help in guiding young people towards a happy, successful and rewarding time at university.

Posted by Nicholas Manthorpe on Thu, 2 Feb 2017

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Nick was a reporter for the Eastern Daily Press and its sister weekly titles in Norfolk and Waveney, then served as Media Officer for North Norfolk District Council for 13 years. He now works as a writer and PR and media relations consultant. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, an associate member of the Chartered Management Institute and a member of East Anglian Writers.

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