Should school university advisors know about the process of applying for all courses? Inc. veterinary medicine?

(29 Posts)
Whattodonext2020 Tue 20-Oct-20 09:08:22

My daughter is in the process of applying to uni to study veterinary medicine. She was unaware that each university had their own questionnaire that needed to be filled out. She’d had mediocre advice regarding her personal statement and luckily found out about these questionnaires the day her PS was due in. It was a very stressful day!
Was this something the school university advisor should have made clear or is it something my daughter should have found out independently?

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Kidneybingo Tue 20-Oct-20 09:16:12

There are over 40000 higher education courses in this country. No one person can know the requirements for them all. I think someone who is applying for a competitive course such as veterinary medicine, where the entry requirements are likely to be at least AAA, should be independent enough to read those requirements fully themselves. It would be nice if there was a designated teacher in school, but even if there was, they would be managing that job on top of a teaching load.

titchy Tue 20-Oct-20 09:23:55

Sorry that one lies fully at your dd's feet. Did she not bother to look at the admissions requirements then? There's only 7 unis that do vet med, it's not exactly an onerous task. Did she expect the school to sort out her work experience as well? hmm

Whattodonext2020 Tue 20-Oct-20 09:29:39

He is a full time university advisor in a private school abroad, so no class teaching to deal with. We had read through the information from the universities but didn’t pick up on these questionnaires. My daughter is pretty good at researching what she needs to do but she missed this.
I realise it is impossible for him to know about application processes for every degree course, but I thought this might be something that he knows about, and so therefore something he needed mention?

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Whattodonext2020 Tue 20-Oct-20 09:32:14

She sorted her work experience by herself, thank you for asking.
Are you having a bad day?

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titchy Tue 20-Oct-20 09:34:29

I wouldn't expect that of an advisor in a UK private school where everyone goes to a UK uni, let alone one abroad who presumably will have kids applying all over the world.

I'd expect reasonable advice about what goes in a PS, strategic advice about selecting a range of unis, some advice about fee status if there are a large number of EU students, advice about the mechanisms of different country's uni applications and knowledge of the deadlines and what goes into the reference and predicted grades. I'd also expect the kids to work out the majority of this.

3catsandadog Tue 20-Oct-20 09:42:12

Hi My DD didn't get much help with anything for her Vet application from school. All info was from either The Student Room or MN.
It is full-on at this time when all the forms arrive and some are much worse than others. Have a look at the 2020 thread and if you have any questions at all, send a message and someone will help you.

Good luck!


movingonup20 Tue 20-Oct-20 09:53:14

Finding out the application process is all part of the test as far as I was concerned, if my DD's couldn't work out ucas, how could they live independently??? For specific courses like vet sciences there's specific guides on the ucas site. If she's at school overseas they will be applying all over the world so cannot know every course in every country

Whattodonext2020 Tue 20-Oct-20 10:00:52

Thank you!

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Whattodonext2020 Tue 20-Oct-20 10:01:53

Thank you

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Revengeofthepangolins Tue 20-Oct-20 10:20:39

Tbh it does seem to suggest that she hadn’t read any of the admission sections of the vetoed universities. Surely if someone is thinking of being a vet, they would have visited these sites many times, not just actively we searching but also browsing and imagining, in that vetmed presumably isn’t something one applies to on a whim or vague preference?
I’d have thought that a well supported school of the sort you describe should have had a presentation at some point for medics and vet candidates, or a hand out, outlining the need for early application, experience, interviews, questionnaires etc , as much to make sure the candidates knew what was required and were taking it seriously, but equally, none is this would be news at this point in the process to someone who has looked at a couple of websites.

Scottandcharlene Tue 20-Oct-20 10:59:54

In my experience all the applicants for vet med have been very aware of the process before application, largely down to TSR and mumsnet but also via the web pages and open days of the universities. They are very open about the process as it is so demanding but I suppose the lack of open days this year will have made that less obvious. My dd’s school are very supportive of medics/dentists/vet med and oxbridge applicants but they do not have the time to know the detail of the application process - this is something the individual applicants need to find out for themselves. I don’t think dd’s school had any idea of the years of work experience gathering that dd had done but like other determined vet students dd knew what was required and was well prepared. Having had an older dd go to Cambridge I can definitely say the vet med process is far more difficult and stressful! Mumsnet has been a great resource even if there are only a few posters. Good luck, it is an excruciating process and I can well remember the stress of the extra forms last year, although when the interview offers start to come in it is very exciting.

3catsandadog Tue 20-Oct-20 11:05:59

Also join the 2021 as ScottandCharlene says MN is a great resource!

LIZS Tue 20-Oct-20 11:24:46

Unless the school has a history of regularly having students successfully applying for the specific subject/uni, I would not rely on them for this sort of information. Criteria and application processes can change anyway.

titchy Tue 20-Oct-20 11:48:38


She sorted her work experience by herself, thank you for asking.
Are you having a bad day?

No. But clearly you are if you think it was her advisors job and not hers.

mumsneedwine Tue 20-Oct-20 17:23:12

Wow some harsh replies. Yes a Uni advisor should at least be able to advise that these forms exist, just like they should know about UCAT and any other entrance hurdles.
Where has you DD applied ? Might be able to help- DD first year at Bristol but also applied to Liverpool, Notts and RVC. And we looked at Surrey too. Yes we, because it's a minefield working out which Uni wants what.

mumsneedwine Tue 20-Oct-20 17:28:37

@Whattodonext2020 sorry forgot to tag you

Whattodonext2020 Tue 20-Oct-20 17:39:50

Thank you for your help and non-aggressive tone. I’ve already had a look at the threads that you and 3 cats shared. Very informative smile

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Whattodonext2020 Tue 20-Oct-20 17:43:17

I didn’t think that, that was why I asked the question here.
I’ve had a nice day, thank you. I’ve completed my second workbook for my course in Understanding Children’s mental health, cooked a nice curry and am now responding to your acidic toned message.
Have a nice evening!

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mumsneedwine Tue 20-Oct-20 17:44:00

@Whattodonext2020 lots of advice on 2020 thread. But sure me and cats will be happy to try and help. Unless you've seen your child apply for vet med it's hard to understand quite how strange it is. Different work experience required, different forms (which take ages), some SJT to do and that's before interview days (some are 4-5 hours). Good luck !

Guymere Tue 20-Oct-20 18:07:53

Our experience has been that vet and med hopefuls have a separate chat pointing out the extra requirements. Oxbridge hopefuls too. Some dc are both of course. However if this is a school abroad it might not be so switched on or not used to the numbers applying that too uk schools get. In my view, the process should have been pointed out and she should have been told to research it thoroughly. At the start of 6th form so all she needed to do could be done in good time.

shockthemonkey Fri 23-Oct-20 17:30:15

Hi OP, I also think it's a big ask for a school abroad, but then read that the uni adviser is full time.

I still think it's hard to advise about vet med because each uni has its own set of requirements and timelines, and many change from one year to the next. This year especially is out of the ordinary. I would imagine your DD's school gets one vet wannabe every five years or so (but maybe I'm wrong here!). He'd be more likely to be clued up about medicine, which gets many more applicants.

Plus if he advises on unis in other countries, he's got quite a full plate.

marcopront Fri 23-Oct-20 17:41:07

* We had read through the information from the universities but didn’t pick up on these questionnaires. My daughter is pretty good at researching what she needs to do but she missed this.*

So you think he should have read the information more thoroughly than your daughter?

Unless other students at the school have applied to the UK to be a vet he may not know. He has to know about many courses in many countries.
Your daughter needs to know about one course in one country.

Colliemayhem Fri 23-Oct-20 20:31:21

My DS has applied for Vet med this year. His school has a designated advisor for Vet, medicine and dentistry. There was a presentation at the start of year 12 outlining the application process. DS got some advice on his personal statement but knowing all the entry requirements and finding out about the questionnaires was very much our own research from looking in detail at each Uni’s entrance requirements and application process and last years Mumsnet forum was really helpful. If he (hopefully) gets interviews, then the school will help with MMI & interview prep. I also bought the book ‘Getting into Vet school’ and made him read it. I have also read it all!

Colliemayhem Fri 23-Oct-20 20:34:08

Thinking back, at the Edinburgh Uni open day last year, they really battered home the deadline for the WES form, so that was probably what made us aware and looked specifically for each Uni’s requirements.

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