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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:58 am 
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https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... ?CMP=fb_gu

I had to laugh out loud at this as, being parent to 3 kids for whom I have pretty much said that gap years are compulsory, I have said all this and more over the last few years. And then I see who wrote it...one of my heroes.

Please those of you who think that children should go to university straight from school, start to challenge that thought now. I have watched more young people drop out or fail university over the last 2 years than actually stuck it out. I also personally know two who, after finishing, wish they had done a different degree course - as in, totally different. There is really nothing to lose by having the year out and everything to gain. If there is a passion for a subject it will still be there after a year out in the big bad world, and your child will be older and wiser too. For while witnessing some very sad stories of children returning home prematurely, I have also watched several children, one of my own among them, grow and change so radically over the course of the gap between school and university that it is almost unbelievable. They also, crucially, have some money behind them and don't feel the need to try and get a bar job the moment they get into their halls of residence. I could (I may actually!) write a book on the many benefits and no disadvantages I have witnessed across a range of very different children.

I am pleased to note at my sons' grammar school this year there has been a senior-teacher led group set up to support 'non-appliers'. As with so many things, this school is showing signs of pioneering and the students will be supported to do PSs, extra qualifications and interviews (some are Oxbridge hopefuls) after they finish school. I hope this will continue to the point where it will become the norm in a few years and the 'extraordinary' support will be for the few who go straight from school.

Controversial I know, and I am ready for the 'it doesn't suit everyone' retorts; but still worth a thought. :D


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:02 am 
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++++++++++++++

Yup, my dad said this for me and my sisters. People change, some are very young, and if nothing else it teaches them (a huge thing in itself) that the world does not owe them a living and how to get on with a wide range of people, in a job that possibly is not the most challenging, maybe mixed with some travel, budgeting, freedom and the chance to really know what path they want to take next.

Could not agree more


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:06 am 
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Location: Reading
I have a friend who wanted to do a gap year and go traveling. She had worked to earn money to do so beforehand, so wasn't coming from the bank of mum and dad. She also intended to work while abroad. She is Australian and wanted to come to the uk for a year and was applying for a visa that would allow her to work here.

Her mum said no, she had to go straight to uni. No messing about with gap years etc.

After her first year at uni, and u known to her mother, she decided to travel to the UK, intending only to come here for a short time. She ended up staying, originally with the intent of trying for a couple of,years then going back home to finish her degree. Nothing much her mum could about it.

While here she met a uni friend of mine. Got married a couple of years later.

Never finished her degree.she has always said that if her mum had let her go, she would have got the travel out of her system and settled into her degree a year later.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:09 am 
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Science degrees [especially involving mathematics] still tend to want students straight from school ...

If that can be sorted, then I agree!


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:11 am 
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Guest55 wrote:
Science degrees [especially involving mathematics] still tend to want students straight from school ...

If that can be sorted, then I agree!

Just pure Maths I think? DD was originally planning to do Natural Sciences at Durham and there was no issue whatsoever with a gap year there. I also know someone who did go to do a Maths degree at Cambridge, though much sucking of teeth was involved in that (well it was Cambridge...sucking of teeth is what they do best :wink: ).


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:13 am 
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The DD of a friend of mine spent a year working for an estate agent before starting her biology degree a year ago, so they obviously didn't mind too much either.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:24 am 
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It also can apply to Mech Engineering as my nephew found when he was applying ... it is the mathematical sciences in the main.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:12 pm 
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I am in two minds about this. I really like the idea of them working and getting money and being a bit more mature.
But I know quite a number of people who have done GAP years, not here working but going overseas as volunteers, who have then stayed and never gone to uni. (I know about 10 people who have done this). I feel strongly in pretty much every case that they would have done better to do their degree and then, if they still wanted to work overseas, to have done this with their teaching/nursing/whatever qualification. I worry that at 18 many people are still quite naive and liable to have a romanticised view and therefore fall in love with a place (much like they are inclined to fall in love with random people at that age :lol: ).
I would not be encouraging my children to travel at that age for those reasons but would rather they went after uni for a year. I wouldn't discourage them from working for a year though as a GAP year.
I can't imagine either of mine wanting to do that though. I think they are the sort of people that will want to get on with uni straight away. They still have time to change though...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:44 pm 
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Location: Not in a hole in the ground but in a land where once they dwelt-the Beormingas
Guest55 wrote:
It also can apply to Mech Engineering as my nephew found when he was applying ... it is the mathematical sciences in the main.

Really? Ds2 is considering mathematical science (Actuarial) as an option and wants to do this after taking a gap period of 2-3 years. He's still researching but going straight to uni is his backup option rather than his main.

And yes, loopyloo- there is the thought that he may not wish to go to university after all if his career path doesn't require it.

As long as gap years are planned well, dc will benefit. Unfortunately, from the 3 relatives who took a year out, only one really matured throughout the whole process. My own dd1 wishes to apply for a deferred entry. But what she will do with her time has yet to be decided.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:04 pm 
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loobylou wrote:
I feel strongly in pretty much every case that they would have done better to do their degree and then, if they still wanted to work overseas, to have done this with their teaching/nursing/whatever qualification.
Do the young people concerned agree with your assessment that they would have been better off that way round?
loobylou wrote:
I worry that at 18 many people are still quite naive and liable to have a romanticised view and therefore fall in love with a place

I don't think Dorling is suggesting at all that young people should be heading off on some kind of travel adventure. I most certainly am not! I am talking about a 'proper' delay - doing some actual, real work. If any travelling is to be done it is done at the end of any year and paid for out of funds earned doing said actual, real, work. If you read his article it is very much not aimed at rich kids doing a bit of travel and a lot of 'finding themselves' funded by the Bank of Mum and Dad - his emphasis is on working.

Your point about naiveté surely supports the idea that they aren't old enough at 18 (or rather, at 16 or 17, which is when they have to apply) to embark upon a very expensive and rigidly confining degree path which they may well have thought better of 5 years down the line. The debt doesn't get written off if you change your mind. Surely it is better to make an unwise decision which only costs you a few months of travel than one which potentially alters the course your life is able to take?


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