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is 17 too young for Uni

(16 Posts)
susan123graeme Thu 03-Sep-15 08:19:22

Because my youngest son is sitting a French Bac in France he will be only 17 if he is accepted at UK Unis - Im worried that he will not cope with the workload - he has three older brothers, two of which also went to the UK to Uk unis (one is still there) but they were 19 and 18 respectively, he does not drive (you have to be 18 in France) and we live rurally so taking a gap year is not a good option as he is very limited at what he can do - He turns 18 by the second term - Has anyone else had a son or daughter attend UK uni at a younger age ? and did they experience any problems in the short term

tabulahrasa Thu 03-Sep-15 08:30:52

It happens often enough to not be unnusual in Scotland... It's not a huge issue really, other than that it's not legal for them to buy alcohol.

CocktailQueen Thu 03-Sep-15 08:32:38

I was 17 and a few months when I started uni (Scotland), and it was fine. Had some problems settling in, but so did others, so I don't think that was purely an age thing.

And yes, no alcohol in the first year wink

He will be fine.

sleepyelectricsheep Thu 03-Sep-15 08:36:21

I was going to say it's pretty normal in Scotland too. Have you looked at degrees there? It's a slightly different system, the degrees are 4 years and I think the first year is a bit more general IIRC (but I don't have any experience of this, hopefully someone more knowledgable will come along soon.)

Going to Edinburgh for example, if he could get in there, would be an amazing experience I imagine.

mummytime Thu 03-Sep-15 08:43:27

I would suggest he does a gap year, and preferably come to the UK for at least some of it. There are some good placement schemes which give genuine work experience if that is relevant to what he wants to study. He could also pass his driving test in the UK.

LIZS Thu 03-Sep-15 08:51:48

Agree a gap year might still be a good thing , he doesn't have to stay at home for the whole of it. Depending on chosen subject some relevant project work/work experience and time spent in UK would be worthwhile. He could then apply during that year , get an unconditional offer and be 18 when he starts.

Soundsystem Thu 03-Sep-15 08:56:03

I started uni at 17 and a few weeks, my sister started at 17 and a few months (University of Glasgow). As PPs have said its not at all unusual in Scotland, and there's plenty of Scottish students who start English unis at 17. Never really heard of anyone who's had a problem.

Pneumometer Thu 03-Sep-15 09:00:11

Because my youngest son is sitting a French Bac in France he will be only 17 if he is accepted at UK Unis

A typical wording is this, from Warwick:

"All applications to courses will be assessed against the course entry requirements irrespective of the age on entry. All successful applicants are expected to evidence academic maturity in their application. Applicants who are under 18 should be aware that they are applying to study in an adult environment and there may be a small number of limitations for them at the University while they are under 18."

In other words, there won't be much in the way of special treatment: if you can hack it amongst people older than you, fine, but you won't get much in the way of allowances made.

At my university, the policy on under-18 admission includes the word "occasionally", a lot. I've heard anecdotally that the rate of failure in the first year is very high.

cdtaylornats Thu 03-Sep-15 11:32:44

I went at 17 and I certainly wasn't the only one. Not being able to legally buy alcohol wasn't ever a problem. Although the barman in the union tutted a bit when I had my 18th birthday party 7 months after starting drinking in the bar.

mermaidbutmytailfelloff Thu 03-Sep-15 11:38:26

what does HE want to do OP? if he is old enough to go to uni he is old enough to decide when!

Mrsjayy Wed 09-Sep-15 12:18:28

Dd is a winter birthday (scotland) she is only 17 decided not to go to university this year she is doing a college course instead its really up to the individual whether they will cope or not .

fastdaytears Wed 09-Sep-15 12:27:57

Tons of 17 yo at my uni particular because up north so lots of Scots. Never saw any problems but you know your son.

quangotango Tue 22-Sep-15 10:54:20

I started uni a week or so after I turned 17 due to having skipped a year of senior school further back when moving between countries. In hindsight I think I was too young and I wish I'd taken a gap year. This was awhile ago though and my impression is they get more hand holding and help now? whearas I rocked up in a new city, new country, on my own, with no money and nowhere to live at just turned 17. It could have been better (and will be for my dc)

Pardis123 Wed 14-Oct-15 13:21:18

Someone else mentioned a gap year. I'd highly recommend a gap year. If I could go back in time I'd take a year off and work/travel the year before university. The experience and confidence gained is invaluable and highly underestimated.

marmark Wed 14-Oct-15 14:31:01

My daughter started Uni very young as her Birthday is July - almost everyone was older than her and to be honest she did struggle slightly. She made a lots of friends but she was not mature enough in some ways and has now ended up repeating her first year. A very expensive thing to do - I would encourage a gap year and getting some work experience as a Mum as supporting your hcild in University is very expensive too.

She is much happier this year already having made a friend on her course who had a gap year so is now the same age as my daughter.

Life is a learning experience for us all - I do feel we have to support our children whatever they decide.

LisbethSalandersLaptop Wed 14-Oct-15 14:35:12

You might find that the UK uni wont take him til he is 18 anyway, so worth checking that.
I knew an English girl educated in France who had to take a gap year before going to Exeter for that very reason.

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