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A person with long blonde hair stands in front of dressmaking mannequins. In front of her on a table, a sign reads National Opportunity Day
Fashion designer Siobhan McKenzie

Glasgow Kelvin College launches new awareness day to celebrate further education opportunities

Posted 03.08.23 by Alice Hinds

With results day approaching, Glasgow Kelvin College has registered an official awareness day to help school leavers discover what’s possible during the clearing process.

Taking place on Wednesday, 9 August, the inaugural National Opportunity Day will see the college open its doors to people of all ages and stages, allowing potential students to explore what courses and qualifications could be open to them after receiving their exam results.

Students across Scotland will receive exam and assessment grades on Tuesday, 8 August, with the clearing process (click here for more) beginning the same day – and Gary Sharp, Student Support Services Manager at Glasgow Kelvin College, says school leavers and career changers alike should keep an open mind and look at all the options available.

“Speaking to prospective students and making them aware of all the opportunities available to them is always the best part of my job, as very few people really understand what’s possible,” he explained. “Results day is clearly an important day for many, but it’s not the end of the road.

“Regardless of whether you’ve just received your exam results, or if you’re 10 years into your career, there are a wide variety of different trades, industries, and professions available.”

National Opportunity Day is backed by award-winning fashion designer Siobhan Mackenzie (click here for more), who studied fashion design and production at the college, and has since designed kilts for the likes of Justin Bieber and Team Scotland for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

A young woman holds up a glass beaker filled with red liquid. In her other hand, she holds a sign that reads National Opportunity Day.

Noma Dube, who studied Applied Science at Glasgow Kelvin College, helps to promote National Opportunity Day

“My skill set learnt in college has crucially prepared me for industry and has given me the knowledge needed to forge a career in my field,” said Mackenzie. “It was hard work but I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. I’m very proud to have gone to Glasgow Kelvin College and I hope this will open people’s eyes to the possibilities available at the college.”

Glasgow Kelvin College will hold its annual Open Day as part of National Opportunity Day, with advice and guidance teams on hand to help guide visitors through the wide range of subjects available, including HND, HNC and degree qualifications, access courses and City & Guilds programmes.

Sharp added: “College creates the workforce of the future, embedding practical skills that will stand the test of time. Whatever your passions, skills or interests, there’s a place for you at Kelvin, and an opportunity waiting to be seized.

“We are passionate about supporting students to make ‘non traditional’ choices, such as the excellent career opportunities for women in STEM, and men entering childcare, caring and nursing professions.”

For more information, click here to visit the Glasgow Kelvin College’s website:

Two smiling people wear purple t-shirts and headsets while typing at keyboards

Exam helpline opens to support Scottish pupils on results day

Posted 27.07.23 by Alice Hinds

Scottish pupils will be able to access free, impartial career advice after receiving their exam results via a dedicated helpline offered by Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

The SDS Results Helpline will remain open from 8am on Tuesday 8 August until Friday 11 August, providing advice for any worried parents, carers and pupils, who will have just received final grades for Higher, National and Advanced exams.

More than 30 expert careers advisers from across Scotland will be on hand to assist around 144,000 school pupils, and answer questions on everything from securing a college or university place through clearing to finding apprenticeships, jobs and volunteering opportunities, while also providing reassurance if results haven’t been as expected.

Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said: “Results day can be a very emotional one for pupils, parents and carers, so the opportunity to speak directly with someone who can offer impartial, expert advice on your options can be really valuable.

“Whatever your results, there are options out there for you. I would encourage anyone with any concerns, no matter how small, to phone the SDS careers experts.”

With approximately 80% of all calls usually received within the first two days after results are made available, the Results Helpline will be open for 12 hours (8am to 8pm) on 8 and 9 August, before being reduced to normal working hours (9am to 5pm) on 10 and 11 August.

SDS works with the Scottish Government, Scottish Qualifications Authority, UCAS and Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) to support pupils during results time, and Sharon McIntyre, Head of Career Information, Advice and Guidance Operations at the national skills agency, says there are a “breadth of options open” to school-leavers.

She added: “It’s important to reassure people that no matter what their results are, our advisers are there to provide expert advice. Even after the Results Helpline closes, people of all ages can still get great advice anytime from our careers advisers across the country, in school or through our local centres and community venues, as well as online at My World of Work.”

Call the SDS Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000 or click here to visit the website:

Photo of a calculator next to a lined notepad with a pen on it.

News: Undergraduate students will receive greater financial support, starting with Autumn 2023 uplift

Posted 14 March, 2023 by Nina Joynson

The Scottish Government has announced an uplift to both SAAS loan funding for undergraduate students and the bursary that helps care-experienced learners to access higher education, amidst cost-of-living pressures.

From the beginning of the 2023-24 academic year, all undergraduate students will be offered an additional £900 as part of their financial support package.

This means that the maximum package, available for estranged students in higher education and other undergraduate learners on the lowest household income bracket, will increase to £9,000 per year (from £8,100).

Minister for Higher Education and Further Education Jamie Hepburn said:

“This rise in support will help to alleviate the financial pressures facing many students as we grapple with the cost-of-living crisis.

"This is the next step in delivering our commitment to providing a total package of student support equivalent to the living wage."

Supporting students with care experience

The non-repayable Care Experienced Bursary will also increase to £9,000 for eligible students in higher education, with a £900 increase also added to the maximum bursary rate for those in further education.

The bursary is available for students who have experience of being in care, including in settings such as foster or residential care, or under a compulsory supervision order or kinship care arrangement.

The increases will be available to students who already attend further or higher education, as well as new students beginning studies in Autumn 2023.

Louise Hunter, CEO of Who Cares? Scotland, said:

"It’s great to hear news of the £900 increase in financial support available to students in Scotland. I’m sure this will be welcomed by many students who are struggling to balance their education and finances during the cost-of-living crisis.

"Raising the Care Experienced Student Bursary to £9,000 per year responds to the specific challenges this group can face. For many Care Experienced people without family to rely on for support during their studies, they can face greater barriers in realising their lifelong right to education."