Supporting a Student

Education is a quickly changing landscape, and it can be difficult to stay up to date with the updates that have an impact on what is expected of young people. Our aim is to provide you with as much information possible to help you support your children to make informed decisions about their future.  

Why Higher Education?

There are a number of benefits to obtaining a higher education (HE) qualification, including having a greater range of available jobs, an increased earning potential and new experiences. Our page on the benefits of HE has more information.

How can you help?



  • Open conversations about options and higher education: Engage in open conversations with your children about the subjects they enjoy most, and what they think they could do with them in the future. If they are uncertain about their future when choosing GCSE options or post-16 qualifications then encourage them to keep a range of subjects to avoid them narrowing their options.
  • Encourage children to be open minded: Higher Education does not just mean university and degrees, but a range of qualifications and study options that you can read more about here. Sometimes young people might have a very specific idea about what HE is and feel like they don’t fit with this. Make sure that they know that there are different options in subjects, course types, and institutions to suit different people.
  • Attend open days: Once your children are ready to begin considering where they want to study try to attend as many university and college open days as you can. They are a great opportunity to see the facilities, hear more information about courses and speak to staff and current students. Often institutions will offer sessions for parents on topics such as finance, and the application process.

Sources of Support

UCAS is the centralised admissions service that manage applications to higher education at universities and colleges in the UK. Their website hosts a range of information on application support and key dates to look out for. There is a course search tool that you could use with your children when discussing their future options so you can research courses and institutions together. There is also a parent newsletter that you can sign up to receive information and updates on a regular basis. You can select which school year your children are currently in to ensure you receive tailored information.

Student Finance England are the organisation responsible for tuition fee and maintenance loans for eligible students residing in England. Visit their website with your child to use their calculator tool to investigate how much financial support your child is eligible for. Remember that each institution may also offer their own financial support. See our page on student finance.

Visit the influencers section of the government's dedicated Apprenticeships website which contains information about apprenticeships including a search tool to find apprenticeship opportunities across the UK.