Whether you are considering re-training for a career move, want to bolster your professional experience with a recognised qualification or even if you just want to pursue an interest, the University of Cumbria can help.
From next week the university is hosting a number of drop-in advice sessions at various locations in Cumbria and North Lancashire for anyone returning to or wanting to enrol in a higher education course for the first time.
The drop-in sessions are in support of Adult Learners’ Week 13-19 June, a national initiative to inspire and encourage adults to participate in learning.
The drop-in sessions will be manned by university staff and student ambassadors, who will be on-hand to offer expert advice and guidance on choosing the right course and the best way to fund it.
Karen Burns, Widening Participation Access and Retention Officer who has played a major part in organising the events said, “this is a great opportunity for anyone curious about studying for a degree but don’t know how to go about it. Our professional staff will be on hand to offer advice on anything from finding the right course for you to how to apply. So come on down and find out what your future might hold.”
Further details of the drop-in sessions can be found on the Adult Learners’ Week website which includes details of the university’s Open Days which are also taking place during the same week.
Since its inception, the University of Cumbria’s primary concern has been to widen access to higher education so that more people have the chance to go to university if they so choose.
Victoria Cox, 33, a 3rd year BSc (Hons) Learning and Disability Nurse decided to take the plunge and return to higher education to develop her academic knowledge of working with individuals who have autism. She said, “it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do but I’ve never had the confidence to try before and the ideal opportunity presented itself when my job came under review and my youngest child started school.”
Victoria, who was nominated for Student Nurse of the Year 2015, balances her studies with bringing up a young family but says that having the responsibility has kept her grounded and work focused. She continued, “I treat the course as if it were a full time job, but to me it is much, much more than that, it is a passion I want to pursue in the future.”
As with any course, there were financial implications and, in Victoria’s case, travelling to placements took its toll. Much to Victoria’s relief she found financial support was available from the university which reduced much of the burden. She said, “there are numerous sources of financial support available alongside student bursaries that can eliminate anxieties. It wasn’t until my final year that I became aware of the university’s Access to Learning Grant after I realised how much the travelling was costing me. The grant alleviated the financial burden and worry for me and my children.”
On her experience of studying at the University of Cumbria, she concluded, “I have met some truly inspirational people throughout my course who have helped me to develop both personally and academically. Everything I have learnt can be implemented and used in my professional practice.”
One of the many routes into studying at the University of Cumbria is an integrated foundation year course for anyone needing a little extra support or those returning to higher education in later life.
The university provides them in a range of subjects including sport, policing,entrepreneurship and education. For more information see www.cumbria.ac.uk/foundation.