Connecting With Prospective Students Through Channel Talent

Channel Talent runs fully managed interactive online events for schools and college students on behalf of clients across the Higher Education and Business sectors. The purpose is to enrich the curriculum whilst supporting and inspiring young people’s education and career choices. Events complement other activities with schools, allowing Recruitment and WP teams to reach out to more schools and more frequently, accessing the Channel Talent network of schools and colleges.

We operate from a UK base with 20 years’ experience of working with state and private schools across the UK and worldwide.

Why Work With Channel Talent?

The Channel Talent approach to school engagement offers meaningful interaction through real connections with school students. Channel Talent maintains excellent relationships with school leaders and teachers and offers a great reach into schools and colleges. We also have many years' experience of running online events that are highly interactive and engage students in both the academic content and serious thoughts about their future Education.

What Are Channel Talent Sessions Like?

For sessions that are delivered by a single university (see formats below), these generally involve school groups and individual students and so are entirely flexible for students who are in school and those who are not. Students taking part in school as a group will see the speaker and slides projected onto a whiteboard in the classroom. Interaction is mainly chat based but individuals and groups have the option to use the microphone if preferred. Connecting with multiple schools and individual students makes it even more cost effective for the university but, equally, school students often say that they really like to interact with other schools around the country, and beyond.

About The Audience

Depending upon the time of year and university aims, the universities can elect to present to groups of Year 10 through to Year 13 students, mostly in the UK. Some international schools may also join. Student numbers will vary based on the subject being discussed and the size of the schools/colleges. Working with the university we can target particular schools and regions and dedicated international events are also available. We will ensure everyone is ready for the actual event so that the university or business can concentrate on the delivery knowing that the schools will be ready.

Time Commitment

The sessions generally last between 45 and 60 minutes and speakers should allow up to 20 minutes beforehand for setting up/getting comfortable. In advance of the event, many speakers benefit from testing and familiarising themselves with the platform, which also affords the opportunity to discuss the session and what is required.

Who Presents And What Tech Do They Need?

The presenters are typically academics and/or undergraduate students although there is scope to involve postgraduate students and alumni. The technology allows the speakers to present from a wide range of locations within and outside the university, giving school students a feel for the environments in which they will continue their studies.

Simply, a lecturer can present using their laptop or, if available, a videoconferencing room at the university. We will discuss and test this with you.

What Data Can Be Collected?

When teachers and students register they are asked whether they consent to being contacted by the presenting organisation and, if they do, this data is shared with the organisation. We will also provide a mechanism for registers to be made available to schools either as hard copies to be forwarded to the university or using online tools. Online feedback is also requested of the students and compiled for review. At the end of each term we will provide formal reports on student engagement.

What Does It Cost?

Please contact us for current prices. Many universities will subscribe to a certain number of events thus reducing the cost per session. Sessions dedicated to international schools are charged at +50% of the cost for a UK schools session.

About Sixth Form Session Formats

Before explaining the various session formats, consider the sixth form student pathway above of a student studying for A Levels, or equivalent qualifications, who might go on to study this subject at degree level. Let’s say this particular subject is History, as an example. With increasing pressure on schools and colleges to deliver results, the sessions that are most likely to be picked up by teachers are those that have a reasonably strong connection to the A Level syllabus (green spot above). This does not mean asking university academics to teach the A Level syllabus for schools but teachers generally welcome an external expert voice to support what they are teaching whilst also demonstrating how the subject evolves at degree level. With this approach we are more likely to be successful targeting lesson times as well as lunchtimes and after school.

When planning sessions which address areas related to the university curriculum and student life (i.e. hollow green spot above), we will look at the timing in relation to the time of year and the time of day carefully. (There is generally a difference between our talks beamed into the classroom and those that are run on campus. Often Channel Talent talks are the step before students have decided to visit a university). 

Sessions that work well are talks about what it is like to study a subject, in this case History, or guidance on personal statements, student finance, etc. More diverse academic talks where it is difficult to the relate the content to the school/college curriculum may be picked up as enrichment sessions by certain schools but the timing is crucial and generally they are more difficult to gain commitment to from the schools. 

Please see below some formats that follow these principles and are either delivered by single or multiple universities.

Format 1 tasters-workshops

Here, the university presents a talk to school students interspersed with interactive elements. The interactive elements might involve questions which schools/individuals consider in and feed back on or more developed activities/games can be arranged. Time permitting, there is also an opportunity to talk, and field questions, about studying the subject at university.

This format gives academics the chance to engage with prospective students whilst respecting their research and teaching commitments. This engagement can be very motivating and inspiring for school students as well as influencing the discussions teachers and advisers are having with their students about university options.

Format 2 right4me

In right4me sessions, 2 universities will each talk to Year 11/12/13 students. The sessions will focus on particular degree courses and will explore the academic content of an example module and then move on to discuss the learning experience of undergraduates, highlighting areas that differentiate their courses from others and drawing upon student experience and progression.

This is a great opportunity to communicate your unique selling points to a number of schools as groups and as individual students. The students have generally elected to take part and are usually very keen. From their perspective the session can encourage them to think further afield whilst recognising that, although the subject may be the same, the university experience can be very different between institutions.

Format 3 insight4me

Similar to right4me, 2 universities will each talk to Year 12/13 students about a specific subject area. However, they will address a particular topic related to the A Level syllabus. The challenge is to distil and argue the salient points of the topic/theme and then offer an insight into how this might be taught as part of the degree course. Each university will have 30 minutes.

Again, this is a great opportunity to communicate to a number of schools and individual students. This format directly supports the students and the teachers and, whilst assisting their studies, will give them a valuable and hopefully motivating insight into university study and different approaches to teaching and learning; a great chance to differentiate your courses from others whilst motivating prospective students.

Format 4 challengeseries

The university presents a series of three sessions involving the same schools across a period of 3 weeks or across a term. The first session would typically be used to provide input and the context to the challenge. The second session could be used to check progress and introduce further elements/activities. The series culminates with the third session in which each school presents their responses. The series may involve a larger audience from one school with groups potentially connecting in from different classrooms or, alternatively, involve up to four different schools.

This format affords a prolonged presence in one or more schools and can be timed so that this relationship is built up close to when students are making their UCAS choices.

Format 5 pathwaysfrom ......

In addition to offering insight into students’ current studies, we are also keen to recognize that students very often do not have a good tangible sense of the options that their current studies open up for them. In a pathways from sessions, an A Level subject area/syllabus related question is posed and the single presenting university asks up to 3 of its academics from different disciplines to discuss it from their unique perspectives. It is intended that the different disciplines represented would be looking to recruit from students studying this particular A level. With a strong curriculum focus, this should run well in lesson time attracting the attention of teachers.

This is a great opportunity to assist school students directly with their studies whilst giving them an insight into the possible paths their current studies could lead them to. This may include more obvious course choices combined with more specialist, e.g. History and Archaeology.

Format 6 alumniconnect

Developing the pathways from  theme further, the technology also allows us to connect in university alumni from their workplaces illustrating real live interactive examples of destinations once the student has studied a particular degree. Generally this format will work best in terms of audience numbers for subject areas that are studied at school and college or are well known, rather than more specialist subjects.

The event deals with a particular degree course or group of closely related degree courses, e.g. Psychology. The university presents a talk similar to a right4me talk (10-12 minutes) and school students will then hear from up to 3 graduates from their workplaces who studied the degree. The alumni will talk about their experience on the course and how it led on to/prepared them for what they are currently doing.

This engagement can be really motivating and inspiring for school students as well as influencing the discussions teachers and advisers are having with their students about university options.

Please Note, These Formats Can Be Combined To Offer A Dedicated Week Of Events OR An Open Day

Schools Are Busy - When Can We Run These?

We think carefully about when it is best to schedule each session. Below, the formats are listed with an indication of how they work across the school terms (red, amber, green) and whether each can be targeted at lesson times or lunchtimes. (The lunchtime icon also includes enrichment times which are often timetabled for Wednesday afternoon). All formats will also be relevant after school. Much of the scheduling will reflect the relevance to the curriculum. All of this will be discussed session by session.

Connecting With Younger Students

Whilst many of the session formats above are focused on sixth formers, many work very well with younger students and we are keen to offer more events for students making A Level and GCSE choices. There is certainly demand from the schools for support for students at an earlier stage.

School Requests

Finally we also offer schools and colleges the opportunity to make requests for sessions. If you would like to hear about requests that come through please get in contact. Please click here for full details of the scheme.

Furthermore, this is a great offer to make directly to your target schools. In this case we will then make all of the arrangements once you have agreed a session in principle with a school.