Best course of ac­tion for ma­ture stu­dents

The Jewish Chronicle - - JC SPECIAL - BY BIL­LIE JOSEPHS

MA Y B E Y O U have a y e n for maths or want to chat in a for­eign l a n g u a g e . Per­haps you have al­ways wanted to act or dance. I f so, col­leges of fur­ther education are ready to ed­u­cate and en­ter­tain you. Many have pro­grammes de­signed for ma­ture stu­dents who have de­cided it is time to stim­u­late their minds and in­dulge in long-de­layed in­ter­ests.

City Lit, in Lon­don’s Covent Gar­den, has around 5,000 cour­ses. Par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar are its week­end classes, work­shops and one-day ses­sions, which are a great way to meet new peo­ple and dis­cover new ideas.

En­thu­si­as­tic artists can in­dulge in pot- tery, draw­ing and paint­ing and take an in­tro­duc­tory course in sculp­ture. For would-be au­thors there are cre­ative writ­ing and jour­nal­ism cour­ses, cov­er­ing ar­eas such as plot­ting a novel, writ­ing for chil­dren, broad­cast jour­nal­ism and sports re­port­ing.

City Lit also boasts an ac­tor’s stu­dio, with train­ing in ev­ery­thing from first steps in act­ing to film­ing for vir­tual au­di­tions. There are dance cour­ses from swing to salsa to Charleston. And bud­ding mu­si­cians can hone their skills, with skif­fle on Sun­days, b l u e s har­mon­ica, drum­ming, folk and pop gui­tar. You can even get to grips with the tech­nic a l i t i e s of choco­late or beer.

Univer­sity of the Third Age, a na­tion­wide net­work of learn­ing groups, is aimed at en­cour­ag­ing re­tired peo­ple to share their knowl­edge, skills and in­ter­ests in a friendly en­vi­ron­ment. It at­tracts many mem­bers aged 50-plus but there are no age con­straints.

There are no ex­ams or home­work — and no cer­tifi­cates at the end of a course. This is learn­ing for fun and the range of sub­jects is mind-bog­gling. U3A classes can ed­u­cate you in wine tast­ing, pi­ano duets, botany, coun­try danc­ing, Scrab­ble, bird watch­ing, com­puter skills, horse rid­ing, ram­bling, gar­den­ing, belly danc­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy, lan­guages and more.

A mem­ber of a French study group says: “Full of life-en­hanc­ing and life-chang­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties, U3A is per­fect for re­tired and semi-re­tired peo­ple who come to­gether and learn to­gether, not for qual­i­fi­ca­tions but for their own re­ward and the sheer joy of dis­cov­ery.”

The In­sti­tute has been a provider of adult education in north Lon­don for more than 100 years and is known for its wel­com­ing, in­clu­sive at­ti­tude. Cour­ses can be full- or part-time, at evenings and week­ends. Short cour­ses start­ing this month in­clude per­sonal de­vel­op­ment, pho­tog­ra­phy, cre­ative writ­ing and com­put­ing. Key de­part­ments in­clude art and de­sign, cook­ery, dance, fash­ion, hu­man­i­ties, mod­ern lan­guages and mu­sic and per­form­ing arts.

For a broad range of full- and part­time A-lev­els, foun­da­tion de­grees and vo­ca­tional stud­ies, an ac­ces­si­ble op­tion is Bar­net and Southgate Col­lege, which has cam­puses in Southgate, High Bar­net and Colin­dale.

Its 1,500 cour­ses fo­cus on the needs of em­ploy­ers and the em­ploy­ment prospects of stu­dents, in sec­tors such as cater­ing, con­struc­tion, busi­ness man­age­ment, cre­ative arts, IT, au­to­mo­tive tech­nol­ogy, sport, hair­dress­ing, beauty, health and so­cial care.

The col­lege has well-de­vel­oped stu­dent sup­port ser­vices, with men­tors, coun­sel­lors, work-ex­pe­ri­ence spe­cial­ists and ca­reers coaches.

Its Bar­net cam­pus in­cludes an au­to­mo­tive con­struc­tion depart­ment, a com­mer­cial spa-man­age­ment cen­tre, a hair­dress­ing sa­lon, a com­mer­cial train­ing restau­rant and in­dus­try­s­tan­dard sci­ence lab­o­ra­to­ries.

The In­sti­tute also of­fers ju­nior pot­tery classes

Ce­ram­ics at The In­sti­tute

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