Students find out about a brighter future at Progression Fair

Students find out about a brighter future at Progression Fair

Prog Fair 2019 For Website

In late January, throngs of students came along to meet representatives from INTO’s affiliate Universities across the UK at the INTO London Progression Fair.

The event, which was attended by representatives from 54 universities and around 145 students, was a unique chance for INTO London Foundation, International Year One and Pre-Masters students to find out about the study and overall experience at each university from living, breathing people, rather than having to make life-changing decisions based on information from websites.

Chengzhi Jiang obtained a diploma in Tourism and Hospitality Management in Singapore and is currently studying on the Pre-Masters in Business Administration at INTO London. “I am here because I want to apply for the best university in my heart in the UK and to make my future brighter,” he said.

He is looking at Masters degrees in Finance or International Banking and Finance and has applied to Southampton, who he spoke to while at the Fair, and is also interested in Bristol and Nottingham. The Fair, he added, “has been very useful and worthwhile to me.”

The Fair was perfectly-timed for Indonesian student Jesslyn Aileen, as it confirmed her UCAS choices. Jesslyn, who is currently on INTO London’s Foundation in Science and Engineering (biochemistry), is interested in Food Science and, ultimately, wants to create dietary alternatives for people.

“Today, I have talked to The University of Surrey, Queen’s University Belfast and London Metropolitan University, and am seriously considering Queen’s and Surrey, as a lot of people have recommended them. I asked them whether they offer the major I was interested in, and they explained what you learn and the entry requirements and described student life, the accommodation and safety and security.

“Everyone was very helpful and nice and didn’t pressure me but gave me information. The Fair is a good opportunity, and you should come as it is worth it to get extra information.”

Elene Chuan arrived a couple of weeks ago from Malaysia to join the January intake for the Business International Year One programme at INTO London. She may only have been in the UK for a short time but is already looking towards her future studies.

“I have looked at Queen’s University Belfast and Lancaster and Cardiff universities so far and am still looking and am seeking a programme in the business, finance and economics areas,” she says.

“I am here because I want to know more about the area itself, the lifestyle, culture and environment and here they know how to tell you what they have in the city. Ultimately, I want to take a placement year to explore and then, I am not quite sure, but I think I want to work in an industry in the UK.”

It was the first Progression Fair for Jamie Pipkin, International Student Recruitment Regional Manager (Europe) at Royal Holloway, University of London. During the afternoon he says students asked him about a wide variety of programmes, although mainly business management, physics and economics. 

“I thought the students were very well prepared and asked really good questions about accommodation, student life, the course and about next step options. They are starting to build contacts, and I hope that they will contact us to visit the university.

The fair, he says, was also a great opportunity for University representatives because, “as students narrow their choices it gave us an opportunity to delve in and answer their questions, and I found being able to offer more information very exciting.”

A variety of nationalities visited Charlotte Richardson, International Progressions Officer at The University of East Anglia. It was her fourth time at the Fair which this year, she says, was busier than ever.

The students who came over to her stand were interested in law, business and economics – and the majority of enquiries were about undergraduate study, although she received an enquiry from a postgraduate hopeful, too.

“The students I saw were mostly from the September intake and they came well prepared with excellent questions – they knew what they wanted to study and the grades required. I love talking about the university and enjoy meeting students face-to-face, and the Fair is a good chance for us to promote our open days and visits. It is also an opportunity for us to connect with our INTO colleagues and the Placement Officers building on our strong ties with the Joint Venture,” said Charlotte.

It was Joshua Fairweather’s third time at the Recruitment Fair. As Regional Manager (China, Far East, Central Asia and Russia) for Cardiff University, he saw more students this year than in previous years.

“I spoke to a range of nationalities including Chinese, Malaysian, Kazakhstani, Albanian, Bangladeshi and South Korean. It was great to be able to talk to such a diverse group about subjects including Business, Computer Science, Law and Accounting and Finance.

“Most students seemed to have ‘done their homework’ before coming to the Fair, with one or two also indicating they had already put Cardiff down as one of their choices – which was really pleasing to hear as it ensured I could provide any further information they required.

“I would advise all students to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to talk to university representatives who are eager to meet you and help you make the right decisions to progress your academic career,” he said.

Steve Roden, INTO’s Affiliates and Projects Director had this to say after the event: “This year, as always, it was great to that so many students came along to speak direct to people at the universities they are looking to join.

“The university representatives always tell me that nothing beats being there, when it comes to forming relationships with potential students. I would like to thank everyone who organised the Fair, as well as all of those who came along to talk to students.”

Katy Hancock, INTO’s University Partnerships Manager and the driving force behind the event, said: “What an exciting and important day for INTO London students! A whole host of universities have come to their doorstep so they can ask the questions, big and small, that will help them to decide on the next step of their academic journey.” 

What INTO London alumni said about the Progression Fair:

Qian Hui, who comes from Kedah in Malaysia is at Westminster University, having finished a foundation in Hospitality, events and tourism at INTO London said: I was supposed to go to Surrey, but then I came to the Progression Fair in 2018 and saw the universities and decided I would prefer to be in the city because more happens here. I saw lots of universities at the Fair and chose Westminster because it was highly-ranked for my course and has good facilities. The Progression Fair was very useful, and I am very appreciative of it.

Kazi Yunaisa Ehsan, who arrived from Bangladesh in 2017 to join the INTO London Foundation in Business Management and Law, said: I am now studying marketing at the Leicester University. Last Progression Fair I spoke to lots of people regarding requirements and how the place is generally – the social life and facilities. Leicester stood out because of its high ranking as this was very important to my family back home. After the Progression Fair, I had a clear view of which university I wanted to go to - I had to come up with five choices and the Fair really helped me to choose.


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