Students exploring their options through UCAS will be able to virtually experience the world of work and university, thanks to a new strategic partnership with Ufi Ventures portfolio company Springpod.
The agreement due to go live in spring 2024 will enable those with an account on the UCAS Hub to explore, interact with and sample subjects, courses and work experience online for the first time before they apply.
The collaboration will bolster UCAS and Springpod’s joint missions to support students in exploring their future options and, as a free service, improve social mobility by broadening horizons, removing barriers and widening access to higher education, apprenticeships and the world of work irrespective of background or location.
By logging into their UCAS Hub, students will have virtual access to:
- Work Experiences: Immersive and informative virtual work experiences with leading employers such as the NHS, Network Rail and Airbus. These incorporate real workplace activities – from attending a live surgery to designing a lunar landing module – and the chance to speak with, and hear from, industry professionals.
- Subject Spotlights: Interactive course tasters which feature real-life lectures, seminars and academics, giving prospective students the opportunity to experience a variety of subjects that they may be considering studying.
Over 300,000 young people have enrolled in a Springpod programme in the past 24 months, and the platform is used by students in over 4,000 schools across the country. Overall, 80% of students who have taken part in a Subject Spotlight, say it gave them a better perception of that subject and has led to them to considering applying - with 62% more interested in attending an open day.
The practical, task-based learning programmes help to boost employability skills and better prepare students for work - 99% of those completing Springpod’s programmes rate the awareness of careers in their chosen industry as good or excellent. Students receive certificates of completion from universities and employers which they can evidence on their personal statements.
Springpod Founder and Chief Executive Sam Hyams said:
“Springpod aims to inspire and empower the next generation by helping them to select and secure their brightest future, which is why we're excited to introduce virtual career and course experiences to the hundreds of thousands of young people applying through UCAS.
“Our programmes enable young people to try a career or subject before they apply, increasing understanding, confidence and outcomes. Our aim is to ensure young people achieve their brightest future and together, with UCAS, we can help to educate, upskill and prepare young people to take their future into their own hands.”
Ufi Ventures invested in Springpod in July 2021.