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Have your children used Unifrog? What do you think? And uni guidance counsellors...
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workwoes123 · 16/03/2022 16:06

I work in an international school that has subscribed to Unifrog to help our students organise their subject / course choices and their uni applications. It's likely that I will have a role in managing it from the teachers side. My kids aren't at this stage and it's a different world since I applied to Uni (zero parental involvement, full grant, local uni) so...

I wondered if anyone had some real life experience to share... did your children find it useful? Did they have to be really motivated to 'complete' it - all the way from personality quizzes to completed applications / acceptances?

The feedback we are getting so far, having subscribed for a couple of years but not having the manpower to use it fully, is that it's useful for searching but too much information / confusing layout etc. Very few of our students have made it to 100% - most are languishing around the 30-50% mark, which suggests to me that they start off motivated to use it - then fall by the wayside and use the Unis own application processes instead.

As an aside.. how much direct nvolvement do you expect school uni guidance counsellors to have? I know this varies a lot between private / state. We currently have only 7 hours teacher / guidance time per week to offer to 120 students. It's clearly not enough, and we no longer do individual appointments. Our headteacher thinks Unifrog is the bees knees and should pretty much replace the need for dedicated Uni guidance counsellors. The parents / school board really don't agree!

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shockthemonkey · 16/03/2022 17:40

Unifrog has improved enormously over the past four years. It is particularly strong on student engagement as compared to the competing platforms. But I do get that a student can easily run out of enthusiasm. The personality quizzes are student-friendly but at the end of the day a bit gimmicky if you want my personal opinion... but if it gets the student engaging then it's a good thing. Not so great if that engagement begins to drop off when it starts getting into the serious business of shortlisting unis and courses or getting the application together.

Unifrog has gone global (offers info on unis in Europe, Canada and the US) but is not fantastic at mapping grade predictions to, for example, the kinds of unis in Holland that might be a good fit. That's because I can't think of an algorithm that would do this for you, it is so different in Holland.

Finally, Unifrog cannot replace counsellors of course and even for a UK student applying in the UK there needs to be some one-to-one sessions with someone who knows their stuff.

That's my tuppence worth at least.

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Piggywaspushed · 16/03/2022 17:53

My DS used it. It is only as good as how much the school knows how to use it. His school use it really well. It's great for searching courses and shortlisting.

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Piggywaspushed · 16/03/2022 17:55

No one reaches 100%. It really does not matter.

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RaskolnikovsGarret · 16/03/2022 21:49

Complete waste of time if your DC has an idea of what they want to study and where. My DDs and their friends found it pointless boxticking and an unnecessary chore. Perhaps it could be useful for some students but clearly not all. They didn’t get to the end.

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Piggywaspushed · 16/03/2022 22:00

But there is no end?

It also unearths courses students might not know exists.

My DS did his personal statement and teachers do their references on it. It's a good admin and oversight tool. I can see at a privileged school used to lots of input it might appear crap but your average state school has very little specialised advice or support.

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brainfoggy · 17/03/2022 05:12

My DC was in one of the “top London independents” and they use Unifrog. This idea that students in private schools are having personal sessions with a uni advisor in school is a complete fallacy, in my experience. How can schools do that when there are 200 plus in a sixth form and one uni advisor? If you have a specific question, you can email the uni advisor and they’ll get back to you. But there are no personal appointments. Even for Oxbridge.

I don’t know how far DC got with Unifrog %-wise, but it was quite good for searching and making a list for courses that are aspirational, realistic and safe options etc. I was also good for the Oxbridge colleges in terms of looking at admissions rates. Obviously, it’s only accessible to students (who have their own log-in and password), so parents can’t really engage much, nor assess Unifrog as a tool unless the student decides to show them!

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workwoes123 · 17/03/2022 08:56

Thanks all - the feedback is really helpful!

We were told by one of our other teachers, who used to be in a private school, that the gold standard her old school operated was 6 students to one guidance counsellor….

What do you think about parent engagement? What things would help you to get involved or at least engage with the process? Our parents do have Unifrog accounts (if they want then) but they can’t see the child account unless the child gives them permission.

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Newgirls · 17/03/2022 09:00

My dd state school uses unifrog and they all have one to ones with senior teachers too.

She found student room helpful too - and YouTube! - to hear from current students. She found that herself rather than advised by school.

They also had talks by former students who told them what it was like at uni for various courses.

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Newgirls · 17/03/2022 09:02

Parents had access to unifrog too but I didn’t look at it. I did look at ucas for a list of where did her course but to be fair she’d worked that out already

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RedHelenB · 17/03/2022 09:17

@brainfoggy

My DC was in one of the “top London independents” and they use Unifrog. This idea that students in private schools are having personal sessions with a uni advisor in school is a complete fallacy, in my experience. How can schools do that when there are 200 plus in a sixth form and one uni advisor? If you have a specific question, you can email the uni advisor and they’ll get back to you. But there are no personal appointments. Even for Oxbridge.

I don’t know how far DC got with Unifrog %-wise, but it was quite good for searching and making a list for courses that are aspirational, realistic and safe options etc. I was also good for the Oxbridge colleges in terms of looking at admissions rates. Obviously, it’s only accessible to students (who have their own log-in and password), so parents can’t really engage much, nor assess Unifrog as a tool unless the student decides to show them!

I'm really surprised at that. My dd was at college and they had one to one time , especially those going to Oxbrige/ medicine etc I take it unifrog is the modern equivalent of the rows of uni prospectuses we had in our library?
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brainfoggy · 17/03/2022 11:33

Honestly, they had no one-to-one sessions at all and this is an independent that gets about 30 into Oxbridge a year and the same number into US unis. In the school there is a general uni advisor, one who co-ordinates ‘early applications’ (ie. medicine and Oxbridge) and another one who deals with US applications. I can’t speak for the US advisor as we never went that route. The only time I recall them having some kind of ‘personal consultation’ was quite early on in the sixth form when they did some kind of psychometric test (may have been on Unifrog but not sure). Then they met with a teacher to discuss the supposed career paths that this test suggested for them - but in most cases it wasn’t very helpful and the careers / jobs were very random, so they had a laugh about that. Then there was an ‘UCAS launch’ evening when there was a general talk for students and families; as well as separate talks about medicine applications, the Oxbridge process or the US if parents / students were interested in pursuing those. After that, they got a student Unifrog account and that was it.

Although there were no individual ‘appointments’ as such, I did find it helpful that if you called or emailed the Oxbridge advisor (or the UCAS one) they would always get back to you within a day or two. And you could ask them anything in the phone or by email. This definitely helped my engagement as a parent. The main role of the Oxbridge advisor in a school where lots apply to Oxbridge is to make sure there’s no ‘clashes’ - ie two students applying to the same college for the same course. Otherwise, all the ‘advice’ for all unis was nothing more that what was clearly visible on Unifrog. I had to get DC to log in with me though as we had no parent accounts.

For Oxbridge applicants they did organise a mock interview later on, as well as another interview with teachers from another local independent. Some people paid for extra mock interviews from online companies.

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SeasonFinale · 18/03/2022 17:04

My experience at a non London superselective independent was similar to yours @brainfoggy as a parent and when working in the UCAS office.

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Trude0209 · 25/06/2022 12:39

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