University Global Outreach: Part 2

Issue 11: 2/12/2022 From the Principal

Last week I wrote about how our expert University Guidance Team work hard to ensure that students in the school get the best advice which leads to two fantastic outcomes: offers from over 120+ universities from a wide range of countries around the globe, and high admission rates for FIS students to the top-end institutions in those countries, such as the Russell Group research-based one in the UK.  Today I want to expand on that by talking a little about the reason that our team is full of experts, and a couple of common pitfalls that students fall into when making their applications.

The team of six that make up the university guidance team are all bilingual in French and English, and so can technically speak with students from across the two streams.  Their expert know-how of different requirements for different countries is shared out, so that each one focuses on a few countries each.  This leads to more in-depth knowledge of how to guide families in their applications, from grade requirements to access courses through to the cost of sending your son/daughter to each institution.  Speaking regularly with each one, I know that they are fully on top of trends that are happening in each of the countries that our students typically apply to.  Currently this means grappling with UK and USA universities targeting applications from under represented racial/ethnic/low income groups at the expense of prrivate school students, as well as the new selection process & quotas for the Grandes, Ecoles in France.

So where is the main frustration for our team, who spend many hours talking to families about how to best go about applying for the most appropriate University and courses for your children?  One thing that I have often heard is about the student who insists on making a vast number of applications to universities either in many countries, or in just the one country, e.g. USA.  We can all understand why: the more times you throw the dice, the more often you will get a 6!  However the downside is that it takes away from one of the main reasons for being at school: studying.  We find that too much focus on writing numerous individual applications leaves much less time for studies, and grades start to fall away as a result.  So a smaller number of quality applications trumps lots of them anyday!

I am pleased to hear that a number of our students are now starting to get offers from universities near and far.  Having had three children go through the process here, I know that it is an exciting time, full of possibilities.  So when it is your turn, please embrace the process but work smart, and follow the advice of our experts.

Mark Williams
Secondary Principal (International Stream)