The sky’s the limit

Written by Katie Ralston, Developing the Young Workforce Communications Officer

A new semester has started at Ayrshire College and, with that in mind, promotion of college courses has already started for next year.

I attended my first UCAS Ayrshire Higher Education Exhibition at the University West of Scotland (UWS) Ayr Campus on 30 August 2016. I was really looking forward to chatting to pupils about what they wanted to do and where they wanted to go.- they didn’t let me down!


I was impressed with the ambition and motivation of young people at the event. It was brilliant to hear about the courses they were thinking of applying to, the companies they wanted to work for, and the occupations they aspired to.

I was expecting the pupils to have some ideas of what they wanted to do and an idea of what course they could take, but their knowledge and drive was extraordinary.

The atmosphere in the canteen of UWS where we were exhibiting was bustling with excitement. Each Ayrshire secondary school was given a time slot for their senior pupils to descend upon the eagerly awaiting exhibitors.

Exhibitors, like us, have two key aims for these kind of events – to make sure that every question is answered to the best of our knowledge and to inspire young people to embark on further and higher education course. Although every exhibitor wants to be the first choice for pupils, their main interest was to support young people to make the best choices for their future.

Speaking with pupils gives them insights into which courses they could pursue when they leave school and, in the case of S4 and S5s, the possibility of taking a college course next year while they are still at school.

Pupils were also given information on what college life is like and how it differs from school. They were eager to find out about what kind of jobs they could pursue if they completed different courses, and what progression pathways are on offer.

All of the pupils that attended the UCAS event are at the same point in their lives – deciding what to do when they leave school, what course to choose to achieve their ambitions, and what to do do if they don’t get their first choice.

This type of event is vital for setting pupils up to make the right choices for their future. With 30 exhibitors from 18 universities, 4 colleges, 2 academies and organisations like the Army and Royal Air Force, the opportunities for Ayrshire’s senior pupils are many and varied.

Pupils left the event with their weight in prospectuses and exhausted from the excitement and planning for their future! It was a great day and, working with our Student Services team, I was delighted that they left with a greater understanding about Ayrshire College.

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