A new website www.gibraltarstudents.gi has been launched to support Gibraltar students in their journey into higher education, primarily where this step takes them abroad to an institution outside of Gibraltar, where an element of separation anxiety exists.
The website follows a comprehensive review of pupils’ mental health and emotional wellbeing conducted pre Covid-19 by the Department of Education were it emerged as one of the key recommendations .
Even though the transition from Gibraltar to university away from family support networks can be seen as part of ‘growing up’ and becoming an autonomous and more mature individual, some young people can find this process a significant challenge for numerous reasons.
“The website is designed very much as a resource for individuals who are contemplating higher education abroad as well as for those already engaged in these studies,” said a statement from the Government.
“Often the development of an informed choice of whether to go, or indeed when to go, are key and fundamental questions.”
“The website, through past student testimonials and experiences, encourages aspiring undergraduates to reflect on these critical decisions, with the University of Gibraltar providing exciting and viable alternatives locally,” it added.
The funding for this initiative was provided by Playtech following a detailed proposal submitted by Wayne Barton and Jackie Linares from the Department of Education.
Other school projects that have received funding include trauma informed training; mental health first aid; and person centred planning: transitions to adulthood; among others.
Brenda Cuby, on behalf of Gibsams, agreed to manage the funds as a locally recognised charity. The website which has been designed by Gerry Martinez of Niche Creative Solutions contains key information such as a scholarship checklist; financial guidance provided by the FSC; how to manage individual expectations; sexual health and wellbeing strategies provided by GHA colleagues; links to NGOs locally; and useful links to the University of Gibraltar among other resources.
If frequent usage of this website by students is demonstrated, the platform may in the future be developed to include more interactive features.