East Durham Students Aim For Uni Place

By the final date for early applications, 22nd January 2010, East Durham College had processed and sent off 209 applications to UCAS - the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service.

In total last year there were only 129 applications so this year’s figure represents a dramatic upsurge, an increase of over 60%. Plus there will still be a number more to be submitted in the next few weeks.

One of the main factors has been the large Access to Higher Education cohort from which there were 133 applications.

Access courses are specially designed for mature students, many of whom had to leave school at 16 and did not have the opportunity to progress to university. This may have been due to financial reasons or because they thought they did not have it in themselves to go on. The courses are designed not just to update knowledge, but also to give students the confidence and study skills needed to cope with Higher Education.

Fred Harrison, Assistant Principal at the College, said: “Each of these applications represents a potentially life changing opportunity for the student and in the case of the Access students probably their whole family. We are very focused in trying to driving up expectations of learners in the East Durham area, as part of our commitment to the local area and our partnership with Aimhigher Durham.

“Well done to Alan Taylor and the Access Team for encouraging so many of our students and helping to processing so many applications!"

The College and students must now wait to see how many applications convert into actual places, remembering the severe restraints being imposed on Higher Education numbers at universities throughout England.

Mr Harrison added: “Universities exceeding their cap could be subject to fines and could increase the grades students need to get on to a range of course. It’s becoming even harder to get a place at University but we hope not too many of our students will be disappointed or disillusioned by a negative outcome.”

East Durham College offer Access courses leading to a range of university courses including Teaching, Social Work and Nursing. For details call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.