East Durham Students Eye Higher Education

By the final date for early applications, East Durham College was delighted to have helped process and send off nearly 200 applications to UCAS - the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service – on behalf of its students.

Once again a large number, slightly over half, were for Access to Higher Education mature students studying at the College.

Fred Harrison, Assistant Principal at the College, said: “Each of these applications represent 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 drive 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 process so many applications!”

Access courses are specially designed for mature students, many of whom may have had to leave education at 16 and did not have the opportunity to progress to university. This may have been due to financial reasons or because at the time they thought they did not have it in themselves to go on to that level.

A recent example of this was Shaun Wellburn, aged 42 from Peterlee, who studied on the one year Access to Higher Education course at the College back in 2006 and is now on a scholarship studying for a Ph.D at the University of Teesside.

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: “The fact that so many students are applying to Higher Education this year may be to beat the increased fees in 2012. 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 please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.