December 6 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 1, 2013
Age is no barrier to going to university. At the University of East Anglia, the life experience brought to their studies by mature students is highly valued and plays a vital role in university life.
If you’re considering higher education, there’s a chance to find out more at a Mature Student Undergraduate Open Event on November 20.
Attendees will have the opportunity to find out more about student life, including finance and funding. You will be able to ask questions about study routes to university, and speak to staff and current mature students about their University experience. You can also take a tour of the campus, led by current students, and find out more about the specific support available – from disability support to the on-campus nursery.
“What the event is aimed at doing is trying to take away some of the barriers for mature students,” says UEA mature student advisor Trevor Smith. “Around 25pc of our students are mature students – you’re classed as a mature student if you’re over 21 – and this event is about letting people know that if they do decide to come to university, there’s huge support available. The university is passionate about getting the mix right – mature students bring so much to UEA,” says Trevor.
The event is being held at the Thomas Paine Study Centre on the UEA campus on November 20 from 3.45pm-7.45pm. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 01603 591513 or visit www.uea.ac.uk/maturestudents
Jessica Hothersall, 60, is studying for a BSc in psychology.
“I qualified as a hypnotherapist in 2008 and found clients and others tended to assume I had a degree. After studying Cognitive Behavioural Therapy at UEA, I began to wonder if I could do a degree too.
“I had to make a quick decision, as in order to get funding I had to start before I was 60, so it galvanised me into action.
“I really enjoy the atmosphere of learning and the expansion of ideas and knowledge. I found settling on to the course difficult – until I realised that my academic troubles, particularly with stats and essays, were down to dyslexia.
“The university assessed me, and I got a Disabled Student Grant which paid for a laptop with special programmes in it and one-to-one help from the Dean of Students.
“If you need help, ask sooner rather than later – they bend over backwards to help.”
Shaun Watling is studying for a BSc in natural science.
Before UEA, Shaun did an access course at Great Yarmouth College.
“I like the fact that UEA had made specific provisions for the application of mature students. Returning to study was a bit daunting as I was desperate not to fail.
“The provisions put in place gave me every opportunity to reach my potential.
“I left school with very few qualifications, and went on to train to become a mortgage advisor. I was made redundant from my position and decided I wanted a change of direction. I chose the degree I wanted to take and UEA advised the access/foundation route would be ideal.
“I think the biggest hurdle I had to overcome was that I felt inferior to the younger students who had come fresh from A Levels. After chatting to my advisor, I got help to address these concerns.
“I was also reminded that the life experience I had gained was a valuable skill that I possessed – which a lot of younger students did not.”
Jane Philpott is studying towards a BSc (Hons) in Adult Nursing.
Jane left school with GCSEs and before starting university took an evening Access to Health and Social Care course.
“Initially I presumed university life was for ‘young’ students. I was very wrong – most of my cohort were mature students!
“I chose to study at the UEA as not only was it closest to home and my family, it is also rated very high in the nursing university ratings.
“My academic advisor is absolutely superb, she is totally supportive and understanding of the importance of my family life outside of study.
“I love my practical placements and meeting some truly inspiring nurses.
“I remember feeling overwhelmed and unsure whether I had made the right choice studying as a mature student. Would I be able to cope with the workload, was I intelligent enough?
“The university is extremely supportive and there is plenty of help and guidance there – just ask! UEA is a great place for mature students.”