From the Master
One of the most pressing challenges faced by any parents today is that of helping their child gain admission to higher education. University access has seen two clear trends over the past decade. The first is that there is a far greater expectation that more and more of us will go to university. In 2011, in the UK alone, some 350,000 undergraduate degrees were awarded, more than 100,000 more than in 2000 and overall; around 1 in 3 18-year-old in the UK goes into higher education. In Korea, this figure is closer to 70% of school leavers. These figures continue to rise and are mirrored in trends in the US, Australia and Canada. As The Economist reported in March 2015, “the global tertiary-enrolment ratio—the share of the student-age population at university—went up from 14% to 32% in the two decades to 2012; in that time, the number of countries with a ratio of more than half rose from five to 54. University enrolment is growing faster even than demand for that ultimate consumer good, the car.” In 2017, China alone sent over 600,000 young people overseas to study at university.
The second trend is unsurprising, given the growth in demand for places: whilst access to higher education is on the rise, it is also getting harder and harder to gain entry to the world’s most desirable university destinations. Pressure for admission to Ivy League and Oxbridge is intense. Only 7% of applicants to read Economics and Management at Oxford get an offer of a place. Potential architects face a 1 in 10 chance of being successful if they apply to Cambridge, and the figures for Ivy League destinations are similarly daunting.
So, in the face of such relentless pressure for places, how can school and parents help their young people to succeed? There is no one single answer, sadly, but there is a variety of means which are relatively simple to get right. Getting the basics right and avoiding many expensive (and often fruitless) shortcuts to university, are essential parts of any informed parents’ armoury.
Here are my top tips, divided into Do’s and Don’ts:
- Do come and engage with universities when they visit schools. Our 6th Annual International University festival runs from 17th-21st October, for example, during which time you can have free access to over 50 of the world’s leading universities. Use the chance to come and meet admissions’ directors and explore the various complex pathways to university.
- Do start early. Here at Wellington, we encourage pupils from Year 7 to start thinking about potential careers and routes to higher education. Pupils from Year 9, along with their parents, have full access to our international universities’ database, Bridge-U. This offers a hugely powerful tool for tracking applications to universities and colleagues across the world.
- Do make an appointment to meet with our 5-strong team of university counsellors and advisors. Mrs Sabio and her team have a long experience of getting young people into the finest institutions across the world, and they are here to help and support our pupils throughout their time at school.
- Do think about enrolling your child in one of the summer schools offered by all leading universities; these provide enormously exciting opportunities to explore university life whilst still at school. Evidence of meaningful and sustained work experience is another key influence on a successful university application; for many degree courses, being able to describe the learning that went on during a work experience period can make or break an individual application.
- Finally, do listen to your child and work with them and the school to help them get to the best university course for them. After all, parents make huge sacrifices to get their child into a university – you want to make sure that they end up thriving there, and not heading home after a few short weeks, disillusioned with the course and the university.
There are equally some things to avoid – the Don’ts from my list:
- Don’t fixate on a single university or course too early. Even the most able youngsters are not always ready to commit to a single subject or destination too early and it pays to keep the options open.
- Don’t just consider potential degree courses that seem particularly ‘vocational’ in nature. Business and Economics degrees, for example, are no guarantee of a successful business career!
- Don’t neglect the people skills; the ability to present oneself fluently and confidently is an important one later in life and supporting your child in presentation or debating skills can have very real benefits in the longer term.
For details, please see the posters across the school or Mrs Sabio’s report in the notices below. She is also on email:
I look forward to seeing you all there!
MEET THE MASTER AND BURSAR
Duke of York Room
This week’s Meet the Master and Bursar slot is open to parents of pupils in all year groups. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi by Wednesday 16th October.
FROM THE HEAD OF ART DEPARTMENT
Year 12 Art Trip to Beijing
Tuesday, 15th October
This Tuesday the Year 12 Art sets will be going to Beijing for their first Art trip of the A Level course. Gallery visits are an important part of studying Art as they give students an idea of what is possible. Professional artworks give students something to aspire to and the opportunity to contemplate the unlimited possibilities of creative endeavour. The trip will begin at the National Museum of China at Tiananmen Square where students will look at the vast collections of Art from China’s rich history. They will then spend the afternoon at the 798 Art district looking at contemporary Art from international artists. We will be travelling to and from Beijing by train accompanied by three teachers – full details are in the letter given to students.
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MUSIC
Autumn Concert: Carmina Burana
Tianjin Concert Hall
Carmina Burana is a scenic cantata composed in 1935 and 1936 by Carl Orff, based on 24 poems from the medieval collection Carmina Burana.
The text of Carmina Burana is a selection from a large collection of secular poems of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, preserved in a manuscript at the Bavarian monastery of Benediktbeuren. The poems are mostly in Latin, the international language of the day, though some are in Old French or Middle High German and come from a wide variety of sources. It is somewhat surprising to learn that, apart from some poems that are of a morally uplifting nature, most are bawdy student songs celebrating such un-monklike earthly delights such as drinking, gambling, and dancing.
Orff’s aim was to strip away at what he saw as the over-sophistication and excesses of much 19th century Romantic and post-Romantic music. He hoped to introduce music that revealed more of its basic, primordial elements. As a result, there’s an emphasis on rhythm which rides over lyricism and harmony in fierce, hypnotic, pounding structures. Grove’s Dictionary characterizes Carmina Burana as “music of powerful pagan sensuality and direct physical excitement.”
The strong theme of fate runs throughout the cantata. The famous ‘O Fortuna’ which opens and closes this vocal masterpiece not only unifies the whole work, but also acts as a pertinent reminder that our lives are ever subject to “the slings and arrows of outrageous Fortune.”
FROM THE UNIVERISTY GUIDANCE TEAM
Sixth Annual International University Fair
1400hrs – 1700hrs, Friday
The Sixth Annual Wellington International University Fair will take place on Friday 18th October and over 50 university representatives will be attending. These include The University of Warwick, The University of Michigan, Queen Mary University of London, The University of Queensland, The University of Glasgow and The University of Manchester. The fair will be held in the Sports Hall and will run from 1400hrs-1700hrs. Parents and guardians of children in all year groups are welcome to attend.
To enable the widest number of participants we are, for the first year, expanding the ‘fair’ into a ‘festival’ which will run across 4 separate days. We will be visited by Savannah College of Art and Design for a one-hour drop in session on portfolio preparation (1400hrs-1500hrs) followed by a presentation on the growing value placed in art as part of a STEM curriculum (1500hrs-1545hrs) on Wednesday 16th October. Day 2 (Thursday 17th) sees our first visit from Kings College London (KCL) who will be giving a bilingual presentation on KCL and the general admissions process for the UK. This will take place in the Seldon Theatre from 1600hrs-1700hrs. Day 3 (Friday 18th) will be the main university fair which will see the majority of our visitors and a wide range of presentations from UK, US, Australian and Canadian universities. Monday 21st will close the Higher Education Festival with a mini university fair currently featuring around 10 universities from Hong Kong, Europe and the US, including Arizona State University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. This will take place in the Black Box foyer from 1600hrs-1700hrs.
The continued support of our annual International University Fair represents both the growing reputation of Wellington College in Tianjin and the quality of students we have been sending to universities over the past 5 years. It is just one of many elements which contribute to our highly regarded and successful university admissions’ programme.
Though many parents and pupils will be able to have a conversation with one of their top choice universities, the number of admissions officers and representatives also means that there is access to advice from a huge range of experts on more general application processes.
As per last year, a selection of admissions officers from around the world will give presentations, tips and Q&A sessions to discuss the similarities and differences between the application processes for different countries.
If you are from a local school and looking to study abroad or are from an international school, you are more than welcome to come along and take part.
FROM MRS DONGHONG KIM
FOW Class: How to use Chinese daily life Apps
FOW ROOM (RM#113)
1300hrs-1400hrs, Every Tuesday
Start from 15th October
How many Apps do you use for daily life in China? If you would like to find how many Apps there and how to use Apps for your daily life, please join FOW lesson on every Tuesday at 1300hrs. The lesson will be started with Taobao. There will be English and Chinese translation for all parents to join. Please bring your mobile phone with you!
If you have any questions, please contact to me by email:
Mrs Audrey Barthelemy
Mrs Yuan and Mrs Zhang
EAL (Beginner level)
Every Tuesday of Week A
EAL (Advanced level)
Every Thursday of Week B
How to use Chinese daily life Apps
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Notice: Any changes of time/date/venue please follow the notice according to the course organiser.
Monday 14 October 2019
Week 8 (B)
8:45AM – 10:00AM
FOW: French (LL) (MB 125)
11:00AM – 12:00PM
Senior School assembly (JMS) (Theatre)
ISCOT Cross country invitational (@ IST) (RG)
ISCOT League HS Boys and Girls Volleyball vs IST (a) (RG)
Tuesday 15 October 2019
UCAS deadline for university applications: Oxbridge, medicine and veterinary science (JMS)
7:30AM – 6:00PM
Year 12 Art Trip to Beijing (MFC)
8:30AM – 9:30AM
FOW: English class (beginner level) (MB 234)
8:45AM – 10:00AM
FOW: Pilates (LL) (Black Box)
10:15AM – 11:15AM
FOW: Mandarin class (LL)
1:00PM – 2:00PM
FOW: How to use Chinese daily life Apps (LL) (MB 113)
ISCOT League MS Football vs TIS: Boys @ TIS, Girls (h) (Sports Centre)
Wednesday 16 October 2019
Junior School sports’ day (RG)
8:45AM – 10:00AM
FOW: Yoga class (LL) (Black Box)
Thursday 17 October 2019
Year 7: Bring your father to school day (DP)
8:30AM – 9:30 AM
FOW: EAL class (DF)
9:00AM – 10:30AM
FOW: TCM class (LL)
10:45AM – 12:00PM
FOW: Yoga class (LL) (Black Box)
2:00PM – 3:00PM
Meet the Master and Bursar: all year groups (ES) (DoY)
Autumn Concert: Carmina Burana (FG) (Tianjin Concert hall)
Friday 18 October 2019
8:30AM – 11:00AM
FOW: Art class (LL)
8:45AM – 10:00AM
FOW: Pilates (LL) (Black Box)
2:00PM – 6:00PM
6th Annual International University Fair (JMS) (Sports Hall)
Saturday 19 October 2019
Saturday Activity Programme (SAP) (EvK)