Back To School!

It’s never too late to re­turn to ed­u­ca­tion

My Weekly - - Contents -

You’re never too old to dis­cover some­thing new! And with a quar­ter of un­der­grad­u­ates fall­ing into the “ma­ture stu­dent” cat­e­gory, it ap­pears that more and more of us are adopt­ing the phi­los­o­phy that every day’s a school day.

Whether you’re con­sid­er­ing un­der­tak­ing an hon­ours de­gree be­cause you missed out on university when you were younger, you’re tempted by the ca­reer-en­hanc­ing ben­e­fits of a qual­i­fi­ca­tion or you sim­ply want to give your brain cells a good work out, there’s an ex­cel­lent choice of op­tions avail­able – and no mat­ter which you choose, there’s no need to worry about be­ing the old­est one in the class!

“Al­most 45% of our learn­ers are over the age of 40,” says Fran Pud­dick, spokesper­son for learndi­rect, the UK’s largest train­ing provider.

“Learn­ers at this stage in their lives are clear about what they want to achieve and know what works for them.”

As well as full-time, part-time and evening cour­ses, many higher ed­u­ca­tion es­tab­lish­ments of­fer dis­tance learn­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tions, which en­able stu­dents to fit their stud­ies around work and fam­ily.

“Flex­i­bil­ity is one of the key ad­van­tages of study­ing with The Open University,” says Dr Liz Marr, Di­rec­tor of Teach­ing at The Open University, where stu­dents learn in a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent ways, in­clud­ing video, pod­casts, in­ter­ac­tive apps and on­line tu­to­ri­als.

“Stu­dents have the free­dom to work at their own pace, wher­ever they want, at times that fit around them and their busy lives.”

As well as her job with learndi­rect, Fran Pud­dick is cur­rently do­ing a Lead­er­ship and Man­age­ment Di­ploma.

“With study­ing, work­ing full time and man­ag­ing a young fam­ily, I can vouch for how com­plex the jug­gling act is,” laughs Fran. “How­ever, be­cause I’m mo­ti­vated and be­cause I’m able to fit study­ing around my other re­spon­si­bil­i­ties thanks to learndi­rect’s ‘blended learn­ing’ ap­proach, it’s com­pletely do-able.”

To find out more about re­turn­ing to ed­u­ca­tion, ask at your local university, col­lege or train­ing cen­tre or visit WWW.UCAS.COM /MATURESTUDENTS.

Many cour­ses be­gin in Septem­ber so this is a good time to take your first steps into stu­dent life!

“There’s an ex­cel­lent choice of op­tions avail­able”

Ac­cess to Higher Ed­u­ca­tion: If you don’t have the nec­es­sary qual­i­fi­ca­tions for the university or col­lege course you’re con­sid­er­ing, this one or two-year course will pre­pare you for study­ing and help you ob­tain the qual­i­fi­ca­tions you need. WWW.ACCESSTOHE.AC.UK/ WWW.SCOTTISHWIDERACCESS.ORG Col­lege: Col­leges of­fer a di­verse range of cour­ses, whether you want to gain new skills, gain the qual­i­fi­ca­tion you need to em­bark upon a dif­fer­ent ca­reer or brush up ex­ist­ing skills at evening classes. learndi­rect: Launched in 2000, learndi­rect has helped over 4.5 mil­lion peo­ple gain qual­i­fi­ca­tions in sub­jects such as maths, English and IT, as well as oc­cu­pa­tion-re­lated qual­i­fi­ca­tions and skills. WWW.LEARNDI­RECT.COM The Open University: For al­most 50 years, The Open University has been help­ing peo­ple achieve their dreams by of­fer­ing, part-time dis­tance learn­ing. WWW.OPEN.AC.UK University: Study­ing for a de­gree at university takes three years of full time study, al­though some uni­ver­si­ties of­fer flex­i­ble learn­ing. University of the 3rd Age: A wide net­work of groups which en­able older peo­ple to share their skills, knowl­edge and ex­per­tise with oth­ers. WWW.U3A.ORG.UK

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