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Wrong course disaster - what now?(14 Posts)
My DS has been at uni for 5 weeks and hates his course. Is happy apart from that - has joined clubs, made friends etc but does not want to do the course. I could have told you this would happen but he was convinced it was the best move at the time. He is now saying he wants to change at the end of the first year and start all over again as a first year on a different course in the same place. He has asked them if he could have a place on a different course for next year but hasn't heard back yet. Am very frustrated by it but feel his own frustration because he should have been more thoughtful before starting. Still, he is young and I know I didn't do things perfectly at that age! Any ideas/brainwaves welcome!
He needs to talk to advisor, and possibly student services. I Would have thought changing 5 weeks in shouldn't be too hard, but it can depend on the set up of the university.
It is usually possible to change if he really hates it, but generally you have to wait until the end of your forst year AND do well in your exams (you have to get a 2-1 here). But every place is different, so he really must go to his department learning and teaching administrator or the senior tutor to find out what the process is at his institution.
Well I graduated a long enough time ago that I my experience is probably useless. However, two of my flat mates at University changed their courses in the first few weeks. They had an interview with the new department and then just switched. I think, from the university's point of view, if they have a spare place on a course because a student didn't take up the place or dropped out early on, they would probably prefer to fill that place with a student from another course than have two empty places when the course changer leaves too - without the revenue that comes with that. Just guessing!
Agree with Habbibu he should speak to them ASAP. If he's sure he hates his course, there doesn't seem much point struggling through the year, and paying for it too.
He has a few options
- try to transfer onto the new course now (unlikely, given how much work he's already missed, unless it's very closely related)
- try to transfer onto the new course for next year (if it's a closely related course he may be best to finish this year and then go into second year of the new course next year; if it's completely different then this may mean dropping out and coming back as a fresher again next year).
- drop out and reapply through UCAS for a new course at a new uni (deadline of 15th January still applies though).
I suspect that it will come down to the second option. Universities are under pressure to keep drop out rates low, so won't want to lose him unnecessarily. He'll still be fully funded by student finance, but if he was to restart again, or to have to retake a year, he'd have to self finance that year. Essentially, he's messed up once, and won't be allowed to mess up again from an SF perspective.
As it looks like he's heading towards an unintentional ten month gap year, you need to sit down with him asap and think about what he's going to do with his ten months. I would suggest that he starts applying for jobs in his hometown immediately (it will always be several weeks between starting to apply and finding a new job + almost no one takes on new staff in January), so that he can save up some money and go travelling.
Someone that DD2 knows decided he didn't like his course after a few weeks but didn't do anything about it. He struggled through without his heart in it and did badly in his exams and finally decided at the end of his second year to give up and hasn't gone back for his third year. I think if he'd been a bit more proactive at the beginning he might have had a better outcome.
Better that he decides now rather than three months down the line. I would have thought he'd have time to catch up now, providing he's prepared to work his socks off.
Thanks so much for the replies! Unfortunately the course he wants is oversubscribed so they have said he can't change onto it this year which has knocked him as other students had said it was normally fine to swap!
So what will he do now?
DS a few years back was in the same situation at a RG Uni. He wasn't able to change to the course of his choice so he changed to a different one, then the following year changed again to the one he really wanted to do.
All this, of course, meant he ended up doing an extra year, as he had to start his new course over again in Yr 1.
I wonder where he stands on fees and loans? He needs to get advice from the financial services at uni sooner rather than later, unless you're very wealthy!
I switched uni course after about 5 weeks, but a different situation as I continued the same named course but at a different university. It's a shame that he can't switch directly this year, as I think he would have a chance of catching up at this stage, and first year marks usually don't count, so not a huge problem if he doesn't quite manage to complete all the backlog.
I know of other students on my course who had done a first year elsewhere before stopping and then starting their current course. They had to start the course from first year as the courses weren't related, but the SLC will fund one extra year, so they should get the full amount of funding. But that does mean that if they have to repeat a year later on, they couldn't get funding for that. But I don't know how it would work out if he leaves part way through the year - the SLC will have already made some fees payment to the university and the uni may well just retain the full year's fees even if he only studies part of the year.
He'll have to get advice regarding finances - my first uni pursued me for fees for the full year even though I switched (the SLC payment went to the second uni), and if he's in uni halls then he may still be liable for some accommodation fees.
If he can't transfer until next year, he could take leave of absence for the rest of this year.
This will mean that he doesn't have to pay fees for the second part of the year, but equally the he won't have a loan to live on.
He needs to talk to student support as they will be able to arise on the financial aspects.
Mid-year transfers are sometimes possible, but at all the universities I have worked at more get declined than accepted. It is much more common to restart on the new course the following year.