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| Categories: Higher Education, News, announcements and key updates, Students

HE or gap year? What route do I take now…

The arrival of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK threw plans out the window for many people, including the cancellation of courses, the closure of building sites and the shutting down of overseas travel. For students who had planned to start their higher education journeys, the pandemic has created a cloud of uncertainty.

Just when you thought you had everything sorted – the UCAS form submitted and offers coming in or the mouse cursor hovering over the ‘send’ button on the later applications – a great big COVID-19-shaped spanner gets thrown into the works. Now what? You hear the university experience will be ‘different’ this year, a lot of digital delivery rather than campus lectures. It is not what you were expecting and had been dreaming of for years while working your way through your exams, apprenticeship or job.

Will it still be worth the wait? People are talking about deferring to next year, taking a gap year. You’re starting to have second thoughts about your own plans.

What are your options?

If you took a gap year or deferred for a year, what would you do? Travel, work, something else? All of these options, under normal circumstances, are worth considering as they can give you opportunities to gain new experiences on which you can reflect and then evaluate in terms of how they will benefit your confidence and independence, your understanding of your chosen HE subject or developing skills relevant to your eventual career aim.

Time for a reality check. As the world tries to find a ‘new normal’ adjusting to living with COVID-19 still around, how will travel and employment be affected?

Let’s look at travel.

Of course, it depends where you want to travel to and what you want to do when you get there. Will you still be able to move around as freely and as safely as you had hoped to do the things on your wish list?

What about work?

As companies and organisations reopen for business, will their priority be holding on to as many of their existing employees as possible in a changed business operating environment or taking on new staff? A lot will depend on the sector you want to find work in and you will need to investigate this.

So, thinking about Uni for September 2020, how does that now compare to the alternatives?

The content may be delivered differently to what you were expecting, but it will still be delivered. From the start, you’ll be studying and exploring the subjects which originally inspired you so that you can begin your journey to your chosen career path.

City of Bristol College University Centre Staff are working hard to adapt the learning experience so they can bring their skills and expertise to you as you expected. If you are already living locally, when circumstances permit and you can safely come to one of our college centres, you will be able to benefit from this straight away unlike friends studying outside Bristol who may be worrying about whether they need to find and finance accommodation for September.

If you’ve been putting off applying to university but think it is now your best option, it is not too late to apply. City of Bristol College University Centre is still welcoming applications for their Foundation and Degree courses and offers a great local HE experiences.