HeppSY Present at the AGCAS Annual Conference

Monday 22nd June 2020

HeppSY HE Progression Advisers, Rachel Crowder and Amy Blenkiron, presented at a careers advisers conference on Thursday about HeppSY and how our research can be used in a HE context.

The AGCAS (Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) annual conference is typically 3 days long and is attended by Higher Education careers professionals and graduate recruiters, however this year, the ‘Alternative Conference’ ran for 5 days last week (15th – 19th June), with each day focusing on a different topic. Rachel and Amy presented ‘Lessons learnt from a widening participation outreach project in South Yorkshire’ as part of the social mobility day. They were the only presenters from Sheffield Hallam University and The University of Sheffield and all the sessions were sold out within a matter of days, so they were pleased to be asked to present! 

The session showcased the findings from the latest HeppSY Partnership report and discussed what higher education careers services could do to continue to support these students through their education and enable them to succeed as graduates. Key findings discussed:

·         Aspirations for the majority of Uni Connect students who already intend on entering HE are generally high

·         Students were less likely to believe that they could cope with the level of study required at HE than to believe that they have the academic ability to succeed

·         White and Mixed ethnicity students were relatively uncertain whether they would fit in with others at HE, compared to Black and Asian ethnic groups

·         A substantial proportion of post-16 respondents were uncertain, or believed they were unable to seek professional careers guidance by themselves

·         A substantial proportion of post-16 respondents were uncertain, or believed they were unable to make contact with universities or employers by themselves

·         Around half of post-16 students agreed they understood what careers were available to them in their local area

·         Post 16 students were more likely to speak to family (85%), about higher education than any other group

Rachel and Amy suggested how students could be better supported through their Higher Education ‘lifecycle’ according to these findings, and there was also time for delegates to share other institution’s approaches.

A recording will be made available of the webinar for AGCAS members.