The family Supper events are collaborative events run at either Nottingham Trent University (NTU) or the University of Nottingham (UoN). They run from March to May and in 2016 saw over 410 attend the 3 NTU evenings with a similar number at UoN. Attendees were Year 10 pupils and their families from across Nottingham City and County. The aim of these events is to provide those Year 10 pupils and their families with information about higher education as well as allow them an opportunity to ask questions of current students at both institutions.
Why people came?
Student discussing with her parents university.
The evenings are a great way to not only find out about the benefits of going into higher education, but also to get an understanding of what topics pupils would like to study, and routes into university. This is done mostly through talking to current students who give examples of the real experiences they have gone through in attending university. This was all after a family dinner with other families, staff and students from each university.
The main topics discussed on the night
Whilst year 10’s were concerned about having enough student loan to live (party) and study if they chose to come to university, parents and carers were more concerned about whether or not they would need to financially support their young people in higher education. An overview of student finance was provided through an interactive quiz but more information can be found on the Student Finance England website.
Student ambassador answering parents questions
Another concern was what if I don’t get the grades or I haven’t picked the right subjects for post-16… Each university student on the event had a different experience when it came to how they got to university. Families got a chance to talk to UK based and international students as well as mature students and those further on in their HE study working towards a masters or PhD. Essentially the advice coming from all was do some early research if you have an idea about what you want to do or do something you enjoy if you have no idea what you want to be ‘when you’re a grown up’. The UCAS website has a section on it for pupils aged 16-18 to help them through this.
Family playing quiz together
Families left with some questions answered about higher education but most importantly an overall sense of positivity about the prospect of higher education for their futures.