Parent power

April 4, 2003

Why is parental attendance at university open days such a problem ("Is mum's push more of a shove?", THES, March 28)?

At Strathclyde University, up to a quarter of students are the first generation of their family to attend university. Parental support makes it easier for them to break the social mould, particularly as many live at home.

Ten years ago, we initiated "hand-in-hand" sessions for parents of prospective students to address any concerns. Parents are major influences in where their children study, not simply for financial reasons, but out of concern that they will be well supported, as they know that there is more to university life than sitting in the library getting a first-class honours degree.

Bill Johnston
Centre for Academic Practice

Zane Wright
Schools and Colleges Liaison Service
Strathclyde University

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