Head’s Blog: Navigating the HE Labyrinth

15 January 2020

The prospect, in successive weeks this half term, of a meeting of the GSA/HMC Universities Committee (of which I am a member), the annual Higher Education Evening, and the Careers Alumnae Networking Event has prompted me to reflect on the seismic changes that have transformed the HE landscape in the last few years. To take just one dimension, the impact of globalisation on UK universities has created new opportunities (and presented potential pitfalls) for students while also altering substantially the nature of the guidance students need if they are to negotiate the labyrinth successfully.

Globalisation in HE has opened up new vistas for our students. Despite the demonstrable benefits of study overseas on employability, relatively few UK students have taken the option (only 7.2% of those from England, according to the latest stats). We are impressed by the openness of OHS students to these possibilities and below we focus on two examples of OHS students who have taken full advantage of the expansion of horizons in this way.

The obverse of this, of course, is that competition from international students has increased pressure on places at Britain’s elite universities. One fifth of undergraduates at Oxford currently are international students (the figure for postgrads is a staggering 64%), 47% of students at UCL originate from overseas and, at LSE, 32% of current students are from Asia alone.

Outstanding A Level grades are, in this context, necessary but not sufficient. That is why the 360 Programme at OHS builds a tailored portfolio of skills, qualifications and experiences around the core of A Level to support the ambitions of each individual. That is why the power of the GDST network to analyse data across the network to identify emerging trends allows us to respond nimbly to year-on-year changes. That is why, finally, the breadth and quality of our reach in marshalling contacts, whether virtually through the GDST Rungway app or visibly through networking events, and sharing expertise allows every one of our students, no matter how unfamiliar or ambitious the path they wish to tread, to sense the presence of a guiding and encouraging hand alongside them.

We are proud of the fearless individuality of our students, expressed in the broad range of pathways they choose and in the courage and resilience with which they negotiate the pre-HE labyrinth.  Through the term, we will have a feature focus on a different theme each fortnight to introduce you to the range and ambition, depth and imagination of the Class of 2020.

Considering OHS?

Please review the key admission dates and deadlines, to ensure you don’t miss out on applying for a place. If you have further questions, contact our friendly Admissions team who are happy to help.

Key Dates Contact Us