Guest Blog: Why Student Opportunity funding is important to Anglia Ruskin University

26 Nov 2013

This autumn Anglia Ruskin University’s Roadshow Bus engaged with students, parents, teaching staff and the community across the East of England and beyond.  In addition to schools in the East of England, the bus travelled further afield to Kent and Lincolnshire. In total, our bright purple bus travelled 1,431 miles, visited 36 schools and colleges, six community locations, and engaged a total of 3,289 students in different activities.

At a time when careers advice or IAG support in schools is at its most stretched, activities such as the Roadshow Bus provide a vital opportunity to work with students and focus their attention on what might be next for them in their educational journey.

With the removal of both Connexions and Aimhigher, and the new responsibilities placed on schools to provide a coherent and independent strategy for the provision of careers advice to their students, schools are finding the offer of this kind of activity vital in helping them meet their requirements.

Students who visit our bus have a variety of questions. For some it's very practical – perhaps straightforward questions about the finance system or writing personal statements – but for many it’s an opportunity to talk through their options and consider what steps might be the right ones for them. Young people often don’t realise their potential, and initiatives such as the Roadshow Bus provide them with the time and space to think things through and, importantly, arm them with the correct information.     

During a visit in October to the John Warner School in Hertfordshire, part of the day involved a personal statement talk and workshop.  One of the students was determined to train to be a nurse but was quite nervous about submitting her application and had some concerns about her qualifications. 

One of our team spent a lot of time speaking to her and offered her advice to help her improve her personal statement.  The same team member then bumped into the student and her mother at an open day on 2 November. She was very excited because that week she had received two offers to study Nursing at university. Her mother said that she had returned from the Roadshow Bus with renewed positivity about applying for her chosen course.

This is just one of 3,289 examples of why outreach work such as the Roadshow Bus is vital in helping young people make the right decision about their future.

Rachel Nedwell, Head of Outreach and Recruitment at Anglia Ruskin University