University and scholarship admissions coaching provider, ICON+ Education, urges parents and students to consider their reasons for attending university. Beyond prestige, ranking and career prospects, students should take some time to consider their interests, aptitude and goals before venturing into this crucial phase of their education journey.
For a 23-year veteran in Singapore’s higher education landscape, ICON+ Education is all too familiar with the highly-charged emotions at this time of the year – fear, disappointment, confusion and anxiety.
“Parents expect their children to enter a specific university or course. When their grades fall short, parents and children are at a loss of what they should do next,” comments Ms Seraphine Ann Chia, ICON+ Education’s Academic Manager.
Self-doubt invariably sets in.
Rather than trying to live up to their parents’ expectations or being influenced by their friends, ICON+ Education encourages students to go beyond grades and deeply examine their reasons for selecting a university or programme. A good fit, more than anything else, determines whether students thrive or flounder for the next four years.
“We see ourselves as guides in our students’ journey towards higher education. Our coaching process brings them through a reflective process of uncovering their personal brand – what makes them uniquely who they are,” says Ms Clarice Chan who started the company in 1999.
Her team’s pedagogy, focusing on students’ values, beliefs, interests and passion, aims to help them assess whether a university or major is aligned with their purpose. Even so, is going to college straight away the right choice? Perhaps taking a gap year to complete additional courses, volunteer and intern will build valuable skills and life experience that enrich learning later on.
These considerations and more are outlined in the University 101 course on Gateway+, Singapore’s first digital university and scholarship application portal. The course is offered in bite-sized videos that students can access on any device and on-the-go. It aims to address questions about university life that students never knew they had.
For example, besides fees and living expenses, parents and students thinking of an overseas education should include factors such as school culture, teaching style and campus safety in their decision making.
“Higher education is an investment. Students and parents need to carefully consider whether their choices clearly support their short, mid and long term goals,” advises Ms Chia.
All new users enjoy a free 7-day trial of University 101 on Gateway+.