Most of the software for the FE sector looks at university entry in one form or another. The market leader is the ECCTIS+ CD-Rom, Course Discover, which offers a comprehensive database, updated every two months, with good search facilities. ECCTIS has been testing an Internet site offering the same information, and schools and colleges will probably soon be able to subscribe to the site and access the information via the Net.
In July, Careersoft will release Higher Ideas, with a mailshot of 4,500 demonstration discs. A windows product to replace the CHEK 2 program, Higher Ideas will help students in Years 11 or 12 to generate ideas for higher education courses. Higher Ideas will be competing with PUSH CD, an innovative program which offers students a multimedia guide to life at college. Would-be students can design their own ideal institution, with variables which range from the price of the beer to the temperature of the night life. McGraw Hill is dropping the prices of PUSH CD from August; the stand-alone version will cost "less than Pounds 25".
Trotman offers Degree Course Offers, which covers the same territory as the ECCTIS product, and the useful How to complete your UCAS Form software. Hypertext links take the student to a database of tips compiled by Tony Higgins, who, as the chief executive of UCAS, is uniquely placed to offer such advice. HE applicants complete the on-screen form and the print-out can then be used as a blueprint for the real thing. The new edition allows teachers to complete their reference on screen as well.
* Degree Course Offers, Trotman Tel: 0171 581 3307PUSH CD, McGraw Hill, Tel: 01628 502500. Higher Ideas, Careersoft, Tel: 01422 330450. Course Discover, ECCTIS+, ECCTIS 2000. Tel: 01242 252627 (http:www.ecttis.co.uk)