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Push Talk – Why go to university and how to choose

The whole of Year 12 and the Head of Sixth Form at Beckfoot Oakbank School attended an hour long workshop to reflect on personal goals, encouraging students to be open minded and ambitious when it comes to thinking about Higher Education and university.

The aim was to offer a fun and engaging session for students early in sixth form, where they have made a choice to study at a higher level in school but haven’t started thinking in depth about universities yet.

Using comedy to introduce himself and to develop a rapport with the students, speaker and comedian Moj Taylor engaged the students by talking about his own background and experiences of choosing a university and the things he wished he’d known at the time. Coming from a mixed race background and being the first in his family to go to university, he was someone the students could really relate to.

Moj was funny, warm, and very easy to relate to. Rather than being overly heavy on the facts and figures, which can be daunting, this talk focused more on the big ideas of what universities have to offer and encouraging students to be open minded and ambitious. Push talks are a company the sixth form have been keen to get into school for years, and with the support from Go Higher West Yorkshire NCOP, this was possible. We have already invited him back to do a more interactive workshop with Year 13 working on exam techniques for their all-important last few months with us.

We asked Moj: One thing I wish I could tell my younger self about making a choice at 18:
“The mystery goldfish that turns up in your room is apparently not allowed to be kept in your student accommodation (at my uni, at least). I kept it anyway. Point being? No 2 unis are ever the same so do your research. Explore their wondrous differences; it’s up to you to decide which one is ‘best’.”

Blog post by Jennifer Harris, Higher Education Outreach Officer at Beckfoot Oakbank School