In the summer of 2018, over 27% of UK college students were accepted to go to University, and the trends are looking as though they could increase. Moving away to University can be a big step for both you and your child, as they take some poignant steps into adulthood, and so you want to make sure that they have the best experience possible in the limited time they are there.
For parents with children thinking of moving away to University, here are three important things to consider.
A prime location
If deciding to go to University in college, your child will have filled in a UCAS form, applying to different universities. Typically, students will determine if they want to relocate at this point, moving to a university in a different part of the country for a varied experience, or deciding to go close to home and commute, for familiarity.
From there, come results day when your child finds out where they will be going, think about the area, how close they want to be to the campus and its amenities, and how easy it is for them to travel home when required.
- Open campus universities are those that can be accessed by the general public, and are often centred slap-bang in the middle of a popular city. A good example of this would be the University of Liverpool or its neighbouring John Moores University, both of which are located in the education sector of Liverpool, within walking distance of the city centre.
- Closed campus universities are more confined, arguably secure, and more like the sort of thing you'd see on an American TV show or film. These contain all the needed amenities, from accommodation and individual shops, to libraries and even sometimes student bars for social events. Often closed campus universities are a short drive or train journey away from a nearby city or point-of-interest.
City-centre living is something that is becoming increasingly popular amongst students and young professionals, and it can be a great way for your child to become engaged and driven, when surrounded by other budding creatives. As areas in the north such as Liverpool and Manchester become more popular, property companies like RW Invest are offering plenty of centrally located projects to accommodate demand, which will make it easier down the line to find living arrangements for students.
The university atmosphere
While you might be averse to the idea of your child going out to pubs and clubs every night, or the dreaded ‘freshers' week', making sure they make the most of their time at Uni and embed themselves socially is, to some, as necessary a life skill as the studies themselves. Student unions and societies are a great way of finding like-minded people with similar interests to group up with, and events such as ‘freshers fairs’ are put on in the introductory period so that your child can explore what is available to them.
On another note, talking to your kids openly about the dangers of drugs and alcohol is a must. Open communication is key here, so make sure your child knows where to draw the line when having fun.
Your son/daughter will be able to fill in a form online to get a loan for their tuition fees, and they can also fill in a maintenance loan/grant application to figure out how much money they will be allocated if choosing to live away from home. From there, you can start to plan around what sort of accommodation you want to live in:
- For their first year, many students will live on-campus in university accommodation. Particularly if their chosen school is far from home, it will help them to settle in and become familiar with the area, with their lectures and seminars right on their doorstep.
House sharing Is something that students typically do in their second or third year, and they often choose to share their home with friends that they’ve met on courses. This can be a great communal experience, especially if your child is agreeable and easy to get on with, but living with others can also be unpredictable and frustrating at times if peace and quiet is required to study.
But that's what life at University is all about – new experiences, new challenges and meeting new people. It's a great learning experience, and a special time in a child's life.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post