New Agreement Opens Opportunities for Mature Students

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The University of Worcester and the Open College Network West Midlands Region have signed an agreement to work closer to open opportunities for mature students.


The two organisations have signed a progression agreement to ensure that Access students in the 34 colleges the Open College Network represent, are all made aware of the opportunities available to them and ways in which to take advantage of those opportunities.


The agreement also guarantees an interview or a place on a relevant course for Access students applying to non-professional courses at the University of Worcester.


Professor David Green, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “Many students taking an Access to Higher Education Diploma missed out on education earlier in their lives. At Worcester, we have a long history of successfully welcoming Access students on to degree programmes, supporting them to achieve highly and enabling them to enter new jobs and careers.


“This progression agreement will build on this work and give further opportunities to those highly motivated individuals who want to improve their educational prospects.”


Gemma Thomas took an Access course before studying for a degree in English Literature at the University of Worcester, in which she achieved First Class Honours. She now works for the University as a ‘Graduate Ambassador’.


“I was working in a building society and realised that not having a degree was really impacting on my career prospects,” she said. “At that time I was a single parent and the thought of giving up my job and going to university was really scary, but I knew I had to do it if I was going to give me and my daughter a chance to improve our lives. It was the best thing I could have done.”


Christine Assheton, Chief Executive Officer of Open College Network West Midlands, said: “We are committed to widening participation and this progression agreement is very important to us as it enables students from a diverse range of backgrounds to be able to access University of Worcester programmes after successfully completing our qualifications.”