Opening doors for new future

Torbay Weekly

We can all feel the rays of summer creeping up and chasing those lockdown blues away.

By now many of us have enjoyed the luxury of a Kaboodles hairdressing experience, brunch on the patio of Wesup, and possibly a two-for-one cocktail at Soho’s.

Finally, at the last stretch of my A-levels course, my fellow second years and I are shamelessly planning our summer – that is until we get past the next strenuous couple of weeks.

With my ‘assessments’ and university as the next key stages of my academic career, it is always the topic of conversation - par a two-for-one cocktail at Soho.

Having completed the UCAS process and everything that entails, I have come to realise the very prominent issue of prestige. That is being accepted at Oxbridge or any other Russel Group university is more so impressive and desirable.

Undoubtedly there is a sense of an Oxbridge elitism and there has always been a comment on which UK university is the top dog.

However, I now doubt in the 21st century whether the difference in quality is as big of an issue.

With so many quotas regulating these universities, each one will hold a mandatory quality of teaching and care.

Of course, there is preference of location but the more you window shop for the perfect university, those places I merely glanced over because of their ranking, this factor became less important.

Also, with this mandatory standard in education, it would make you question the conventional route.

Most young people have a degree and although being accepted into university is a milestone, it is more of a necessity rather than something used to single you out to an employer.

Especially with the way in which higher education students have been overlooked during the Covid crisis and having no certainty of the ‘entire university experience’,

I question whether the entire UCAS process will be a thing of the past.

While I have been a full-time student, homework and revision timetables on every blank space of my bedroom walls, some of my friends are attending university on apprenticeships and access courses.

While I have been fulfilling the broke student persona, they have been dressing to the nines with their full-time jobs.

A shift in the way in which people obtain an education is happening.

We all have had to endure online schooling, Zoom meetings, and I will achieve my final grades of this two-year course by not doing any official exam. But they will certainly be more accurate.

This makes me doubt whether the jobs that have thrived from home working will return to the office and how education will be delivered in future.

With the looming recession also, employment is a concern. Is it not more attractive to gain the same outcome of a degree while in full-time work?

Overcoming this idealistic concept of prestige will open more doors for this new future.