How Boarding Schools Prepare Students for University
A major advantage of going to boarding school in the UK is that it’s a great way to transition to university more smoothly. This is not just about gaining better grades with private education. It involves preparing for life at university, naturally.
The best way to prepare young people for university is to give them as many opportunities as possible to ‘self-manage’ the process themselves. After all, when the big day comes, they are largely on their own!
Transitioning to living and studying at university means becoming far more independent from parents. Undergraduates will also leave behind their existing support network, such as school friends. Added to that, life at uni entails seamlessly taking charge of your own study goals and methods. No more teachers watching over your shoulder!
There's been much written in recent times about mental health and Higher Education. How can university students enjoy good mental health? The key is to develop resilience, resourcefulness and strong interpersonal skills throughout the teenage years. This goes a long way towards being happy and having coping strategies that last a lifetime not just at university.
This all illustrates why spending formative years at boarding school is the best preparation for university.
This article explores this in more depth and shows why living in at a top independent school in the UK can enable Higher Education students to do better, and maximise on uni life.
Equipping young people with independence
Setting aside the superb level of teaching and academic support at boarding school, Rendcomb College students learn rich life skills too.
As previous blogs and articles have highlighted, many of our young people find their ‘best selves’ in the nurturing environment of an outstanding UK boarding school. They try new activities, develop strong social and communication acumen and fill their days with new interests and positive friendships. In other words, avoiding many of the negative aspects of being young in today’s society!
Instead of spending hours on electronic gadgets and social media, or complaining of boredom, they fill 'out of classroom' time at boarding school with sports, arts, crafts, drama, environmental work and a diverse range of other activities. They even learn to cook for themselves, especially in our sixth form house designed for independent living.
In fact, our former students go off to university already knowing the basics of ‘housework’, budgeting for the week and other tasks than could stump an ill-prepared 18-year-old!
Self managing life!
Much of what you learn at boarding school is hard to measure. It's not just independence in terms of being able to carry out daily tasks confidently. It’s a state of mind. Time spent as a boarder at an independent school proves that you can ‘stand on your own two feet’.
Yes, of course, skilled staff and caring Houseparents provide valuable support. However, studying away from home and all the wonderful experiences at boarding school ensure that new university students are more self-aware, confident and ready for anything.
This includes being ready to manage their own time, balancing academic goals with optimising enjoyable pastimes and interest-related clubs. They have learnt to make the most of every day at boarding school, without sacrificing excellent grades.
So of course, they continue that at university!
Which is why former boarding school pupils tend to be ambitious, high achievers, across a wide range of different measures, not just degree levels.
Boarding school and Higher Education entry requirements
Does boarding school prepare you for university better when it comes to academic levels?
This is another strong yes. Not just ensuring the ablest and most academically brilliant pupils achieve superb A-level results either.
Whatever your child’s ability level and final exam outcomes, boarding school nurtures their individuality and stretches their minds. This creates an excellent bridge to meeting university criteria.
Seeing the name of a leading UK Independent school on an application shows that this student has already gained self-managed study skills and hunger for knowledge. That’s because our sixth formers are provided with such a wonderful learning environment, and given space and support to become ‘master of their own destiny’.
That’s the sort of thing that universities want to see in students!
Smoothing transition to university or other paths
Attending a top boarding school is an excellent launchpad for university. The advantages of spending sixth form at Rendcomb College are numerous, including the quality of teaching and peer support.
However, we are all about the individual.
So, for some students, it may not be about the best way to prepare for University. Instead, enrolling at boarding school provides ample opportunity to find an alternative future pathway. One that still starts from properly nurtured independence, confidence and focused ambition. For more information, please see our boarding school guide.