A degree in Economics at Lancaster University
Ahuele Davida Wali, from Nigeria, took a two-year A-level course at Kings before winning a place to study Economics at Lancaster University. Here, she shares her experience of studying at Kings, and of life so far as a university student in COVID times.
Hi Ahuele. Which course did you take at Kings? Which subjects?
I did the A-level programs at Kings Oxford — I studied Economics, Maths and Government and Politics.
Which university were you accepted to? Which undergraduate degree are you studying?
I’m currently at Lancaster University studying Economics BSc, with a year in industry.
How is the semester going so far? Are you happy with your choice?
So far so good, definitely!
Are your classes face-to-face, or online?
Currently I’m living on campus, and we have some face-to-face sessions around once a week, but it’s not constant. Especially with how the COVID restrictions have gone up here in Lancaster.
Are you still happy that you decided to start this term rather than deferring?
Yes I’m still fine with when I started.
How have you found the transition from Kings Oxford to Lancaster University?
I would say good, because I feel like Kings really prepared us for university. The difference isn’t significant.
How did you decide which university to apply to? What was the process?
To be honest, I did start by looking at the league tables and rankings — the Complete University Guide, to be precise. I went through them, and even before I left Nigeria, I wanted to go to Warwick University so that was definitely on my list.
Along the line I had to cancel out some other universities because I didn’t really like the structure of the course there.
Lancaster was actually quite a last-minute choice. I didn’t expect to apply to Lancaster, but I Paul, my course director, mentioned it and I thought I should look at it.
What were the things that appealed?
"It was definitely the year in industry that really attracted me to Lancaster. I read about how the graduate employment prospects go up if you do a placement year, and I also looked at the student satisfaction ratings as these are very important. I like cities like Lancaster — it’s a campus university outside of the city, so everything is available in one place."
Did you attend any of the university talks, fairs, etc. whilst you were at Kings Oxford?
Yeah, we had a couple of fairs – one in my first year and one in my second year. Also, the University of Manchester came the school to talk to us and we went to visit them too.
Were these events useful?
Yes, they were definitely useful, but I wouldn’t say that I went for any university that I learnt about.
How did your time at Kings Oxford help you to prepare for university?
"I think coming from Nigeria, where you are literally given everything — like, you read, and then they test you on everything you have read, Kings helped me to learn how to evaluate, to think outside the box and think in chains. It allowed me to go outside of my comfort zone and do things that I usually wouldn’t in a normal day."
Where did you live when you were studying at Kings?
In the first year, I was living in Homestay, and then in the second year I moved to Wavy Gate [student residence].
Did you get on well with your host family?
Yes, I did.
What happened with your studies when the pandemic hit and the schools closed, with lessons switching to an online format?
We carried on studying online. I think we actually ended up doing more work online! I was definitely much more active.
Overall, how was your experience at Kings Oxford?
I would say it was a very nice experience, because I got to meet new people that I probably wouldn’t have met if I didn’t go to Kings.
"I learnt about different cultures, traditions and beliefs and it really exposed me to the real world. I was able to relate and have proper discussions with people that I wouldn’t normally see if I was in Nigeria."
What advice would you give to someone considering the Kings A-level course and wanting to go to Lancaster University?
Firstly, I would start off with saying I think they are in good hands, because my teachers were more than capable. Also, keep on top of your work and don’t procrastinate — do everything you have to do.
"With Economics, evaluations is key. Don’t just stick to your textbooks — read magazines and blogs. LSE has a couple of good write-ups about topics that we do in class, and The Economist magazine is good. I think that’s one mistake I made — in the beginning I was just going back to old knowledge. With economics, everything changes daily, and so you need to read more and keep up to date."
I think that’s it!