Bridging the gap – Connecting students and government

On Wednesday 14th November we welcomed government representatives to join us at our first ever Bridging the Gap in London. We came together to share insights into the minds and behaviour of young people with the objective to bridge the gap between students and government, here’s a round-up of the day.

“BEING HAPPY IS THE BIGGEST LONG-TERM MOTIVATOR.”

After breakfast, Hannah Morrish, Student Choice and Higher Education Lead at The Student Room, was first up to discuss what we know about young people from gathering insights on The Student Room. She took the audience on a journey and put them in the shoes of a student by sharing their worries, how they receive and process the vast amounts of information they must obtain every day and how that makes them feel.

Trends on-site showed that in a digital world young people are driven by comparison and they feel under pressure to get everything right the first time, whether it’s their studies, pathway decisions or aspects of their social life. Hannah presented examples of conversations and polls that proved these feelings and shared findings that identified happiness is key motivator for young people.

She rounded her session up with an overview of how The Student Room helps guide and advise students, so they can make informed pathway and life decisions. She also identified the opportunities where we can ultimately help bridge the gap between young people and government. Read about more key findings into students’ minds here.

“PARENTAL INFLUENCES, APPRENTICESHIP PERCEPTIONS AND DREAM JOB”

Julie Vincent, Managing Director at Vincent Consulting, presented key findings from the Options 2018/2019 report, which shares the perceptions and decision-making journey of over 10,000 young people.

Some of the highlights were young people are considering more alternatives to university than in previous years and that parents and family members are key influencers throughout the decision-making process regardless of their chosen pathway. The report is available for download here.

“WE ARE NOT A GENERATION OF SNOWFLAKES.”

Next up, Chelsea Sowden, a second-year university student in Nottingham joined us to amplify the student voice and shared her inspiring story of a young woman finding her way into education.

Coming from a widening participation background, Chelsea is a young carer with disabilities herself, she told us about her experience using The Student Room to find help, guidance and support on her journey. Attendees were both moved and impressed with the honesty and unique insight her story gave them.

“HOW DO WE GET GREAT TALENT INTO THE COUNTRY TO COME ON AND BE A FRONTLINE PRACTITIONER.”

James Darley from Teach first/Transform rounded up the day by talking about how they utilised The Student Room to support their efforts getting talent into the country to become frontline practitioners. He commented on Bridging the Gap:

“Reaching out to The Student Room and its community is what we should be doing. [..] The insights we’ve been getting today are of incredible value.”

The first event was a definite success and we will be sharing video clips and a summary of key insights from the day over the coming weeks so keep an eye out.

If you’d like to attend the second event on the morning of 7th February 2019 simply sign up here.