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Public welcome at 26th Isle of Man Higher Education Conference

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

26th Isle of Man Higher Education Conference

The 26th Isle of Man Higher Education Conference will take place on Thursday 21 and Friday 22 June, at Ballakermeen High School.

The first day of the event is aimed at Ballakermeen students in Years 10 and above who are considering exam and course choices. The second day is open to students from all other Island secondary schools and to the public.

Ballakermeen started the conference in 1986 to ensure students had the best information to assist them in making their university choices. The number of institutions represented has increased substantially over the years and more than 70 will attend this year, most of them UK universities.

Several are attending for the first time, including the universities of Aberdeen, Brighton, Bristol, Edinburgh, and the West of Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University, Heriot-Watt University and King’s College London.

Adrienne Burnett, Headteacher, said:

‘The conference has grown in strength, partly as a result of contacts we have established with the colleges and universities. The main reason, however, is word of mouth, as delegates pass on the benefits of coming to the Isle of Man conference to their colleagues. It is not just the hospitality that attracts them; they see the Island’s students as excellent candidates for admission. They are particularly impressed by how articulate they are, the clarity of their questions and the fact that many of them have already carried out a substantial amount of research into their future options. We are delighted that, in the face of cuts to universities’ budgets, so many delegates have decided to attend our event for the first time this year.

‘As well as advice from individual institutions, we offer general advice during the introductory talks. Other bodies attending include theological colleges and Christian gap year opportunities; Student Awards and the Careers Service. Also attending will be Study Option, a firm endorsed by the Department of Education and Children for organising gap year experiences in Australia and New Zealand. I would consider the conference to be a ‘one-stop-shop’ to meet all the needs of an aspiring higher education student and one not to be missed.’

The conference opens on Thursday 21 June at 7pm in the Studio Theatre with presentations by Jane Murphy from the University of Huddersfield and Andrea Bourne from the University of York.

They will address Year 10+ Ballakermeen parents and students about the application process for higher education, the different types of institutions available and the variety of courses on offer.

From 7.30pm in the sports hall, the school’s students and their parents can seek individual advice and information from institution representatives. Post-16 students from all the Island’s secondary schools and from the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education will attend the conference on Friday 22 June. Sessions that day run from 9.15am to 12 noon and 1.15pm to 2.45pm and are open to the public, too. Members of the public interested in applying for university as mature students and recent A level students who chose not to attend university after their exams are welcome to attend.

Ian Kay, Head of Sixth Form at Ballakermeen, said:

‘This is the prime opportunity for parents and students to find out about courses, entry requirements and the style of the different institutions of higher education. Thorough research really is the key to completing a successful application and, in the light of the current economic situation, our young people are becoming increasingly aware of the associated costs of going to university and are eager to make the most informed decisions possible.

‘The event will also be the opportunity to find out about opportunities available for higher education on the Isle of Man. Representatives from the Isle of Man College of Further and Higher Education, which offers undergraduate degree programmes, will be available and there will be a stand representing the Department of Health’s nurse training programme, which has been offering a local nursing degree programme, in association with the University of Chester, for the last four years.’

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