Access course is “free” springboard to university
2nd May 2014 4:03pm - Return to press releases
University students who secured their place through an East Riding College course have returned to offer their advice to current learners.
All had been successful on the Level Three Access to Higher Education course, which is designed to provide entry to higher education for people aged 19 and over.
Funding rules related to the way the Access course is paid for mean that students who pay the course fees using an “Advanced Learning Loan” will have the loan debt written off if they go on to complete a degree.
Many of them had earned places on courses which are fully funded by the NHS, such as mental health nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy, meaning that successful completion of their degree will leave them with no tuition fee debt for both the Access and university course.
The students met up with their former tutor Chris Hyland and current Access students at the College’s Longcroft Hall restaurant at the Beverley campus.
Anthony Spence, 28, from Leconfield, near Beverley, completed the Access course with a focus on human health sciences and is now studying towards a Degree in Adult Nursing.
He said: “I used to be a plumber but I got laid off and the Access course got me ready for university because it got me back into learning.
“I would definitely recommend it to anyone coming back into education as it really helps you prepare to go into higher education.”
Rachel Watts, 25, from Nafferton, near Driffield, is in the first year of a Degree in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Hull.
She said: “My sister had done the Access course before and she’s a single mum with two kids so I thought it was the best route for me to get into mental health nursing.
“You get everything you need in this one course. It does open doors for you, especially someone in my position. I felt prepared for anything.
“There are things in lectures that if I hadn’t heard them at College, I would have no idea what they mean. At the time, I wondered if they were relevant but now I’m at university I know they are.”
The Level Three Access to Higher Education Diploma is available with “pathways” in human health sciences, social sciences, sports science and humanities, which includes teaching, business, English, history and law.
Tutor Chris Hyland said: “We have helped hundreds of students to secure a place at university through the Access course in the past few years alone and our feedback is that it really is a springboard into higher education.
“The course helps people get used to learning once again but also develops essential academic skills, such as essay writing, researching, self-study and time management.
“The introduction of the Advanced Learning Loans means that people really can afford to study at college in preparation for higher education and those who go on to successfully complete an NHS-sponsored degree will leave university with no tuition fee debt at all.”
Advanced Learning Loans are simple to apply for, involving no means testing or credit check, and are subject to the same low interest and repayment terms as higher education student loans.
They are only repayable once the student is earning more than £21,000 per year and are written off after 30 years or, if taken out for an Access course, once the student completes a degree.
For more information about Access courses or Advanced Learning Loans, visit www.eastridingcollege.ac.uk or call 0845 120 0037 and ask to speak to a guidance officer.
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