The very first step.
Whether you’re in school or college at the moment, or you’re out of education but thinking about returning, the first step to higher education is “why would I even think about going to university?” Here you’ll find some of the answers to this question, as well as some tips on who you could talk to for advice.
Why consider uni
There are a whole host of reasons to consider studying at university. Some are quite general and applicable to everyone (it can open the door to a wider range of opportunities, and on average university graduates earn more money across their lifetimes); some are specific to the job you’re interested in (jobs in medicine, law or journalism all need particular qualifications, usually from a university); and some might be more specific to your own experiences (staying in education can give you longer term access to support through social services, there are financial incentives through grants and bursaries).
The important thing is that if it’s something that you want to do, and you’re willing to work for it, university can absolutely be a place for you. You might face different challenges to what you see as the ‘average’ student, or you might be coming to study at a later stage than your peers, but there is plenty of support if you need it.
Illustration by Frank Duffy
Who to talk to
The best way to get an idea of whether studying at university is the right choice for you is to ask around. Perhaps you have siblings, foster carers or family who have been to uni and can give you advice, perhaps not. But there are plenty of people who can talk you through it, regardless of whether you know anyone who has been through it themselves.