Category Archives: Student Experience

A life changing experience, by Anthony (class of 2017)

Anthony with his son at the Go Higher Celebration

Anthony with his son at the Go Higher Celebration

Hello! My name is Anthony Fitzpatrick and I started the Go Higher course in 2016 and I have just completed my BA Sociology. It has been a journey that seems to have lasted a few weeks rather than four years. I was often told that my degree would be over before I knew it and that really is the case.

I have lived in Liverpool all my life and I left school in 1995 with no qualifications whatsoever. I went from one job to the next without ever finding a role that would lead to a career. In 2005 I became a Liverpool Hackney driver and in 2012 I switched and became a Liverpool private hire driver and remained as such until the beginning of my second year of undergraduate study. I am a single parent and could only work whilst my son was in school, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to provide for him. I have to say this was a very difficult period in my life, I wanted to provide a better life for my son, and I knew something had to change. In 2015 I attended Newsham Adult Leaning Centre to study GCSE English. At this point my aim was to write at least one qualification on my rather empty CV. In the last lesson before the Easter break of my GCSE English course, the tutor informed us about an access to higher education course ran by the University of Liverpool called Go Higher. Whilst my initial aim had been to get a qualification that could secure me a better paid job, I saw the Go Higher programme as an opportunity to expand my aims and ambitions. I applied and was accepted to join the 2016 cohort.

A new path for when life stops getting in the way – by Sarah (class of 2020)

Sometimes life gets in the way. That was my mantra for years, as I was raising a young family and working part time, without any further qualifications and no clear path on how to obtain them.

Eventually, however, you have to admit to yourself that time passes whether you work towards achieving your goals or not, and I didn’t want another year to go by without at least trying…

Go Higher Musings, by Lois (Class of 2019)

Hi! I am Lois, and I am twenty-two years old. I completed the University of Liverpool Go Higher Access Diploma a number of months ago and recently received my final marks for the programme. Since finishing Go Higher, a void has opened. I spent Wednesdays on campus attending seminar-style teaching sessions, and devoted myself, and committed my free time, to delving into research and completing subject assignments. Upon the cessation of this newfound and thoroughly enjoyed routine, I feel tremendously lost!

Single Mummy Student, by Lyndsey Sloan

Back in 1990 when I was in High School (and a fan of the cult show Twin Peaks) I set my sights to become a Forensic Pathologist. From the age of 14 however, when I discovered dancing and going to clubs, my school studies got pushed to the side and I left school with no GCSEs. I really let myself down and I lost my dream of going to University.

I threw myself into employment; working in a restaurant and various retail positions until I began a training school in a Casino. I worked my way up from Trainee Croupier to Casino Manager within 5 years (which was a great career considering I had no formal qualifications). Marriage and 2 babies followed from 2009. Then my world came crashing down in 2011.

An inspiring and transformative 9 months, by Anthony Bailey

I discovered the University of Liverpool’s Go-Higher Access Diploma after making a conscious decision at the age of 48, and following a period of illness, to return to study and to aim higher. After considering courses at several different colleges and universities around the local area I applied to Go-Higher, because being an arts and humanities based course, with a bit of social sciences in the mix too, it was the course that not only offered myself the widest study options upon finishing the course, but it also allowed me to return to study first, and once I had got back into the swing of studying, then consider which subjects of study I would like to progress too.

My Go Higher Experience, by Kerry Furlong

If you’re reading this because you want to know if Go Higher is worth a try, or whether you should apply or not – perhaps you’re a little unsure if it’s for you – heed my advice: Do It! Apply now! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

Need a little more persuading? Allow me to take you back – way, way, back – to summertime last. It was June 2018. I had been made redundant from my job of ten years, suffered a betrayal of shocking magnitude, and fell into a deep depression. I was lost, between jobs and feeling regretful of my lack of qualifications; I wanted more out of life, I wanted to get back into education, and I needed help getting there.

From Liverpool to Auchinleck, by Sandie Duffy

Today I handed in my notice, I am leaving the job I have done for 12 years, the job that pays the mortgage, the bills and keeps the teenage son in food.  In seven weeks, I will be starting as a first year undergraduate at the University of Liverpool studying Irish Studies.

My name is Sandie and I am 54. I left school 38 years ago with a couple of CSEs – that’s what we got before O levels.  I had no clue somebody from a Secondary Modern School could go to university, all I knew was I had to find a job.  The only thing my mum ever made me do was learn to type, and that was my ticket to the world of work.  Various jobs mostly clerical, solicitors, hospitals, insurance companies followed over the years. I had no clue what I wanted to do, never had a career goal, except to earn enough money to get through the week.  When I had my son and ended up a single mum, I had to find work that would fit in around him, so I got a job working for University of Liverpool as a cleaner, and that’s the job I have just handed my notice in on.

Go Higher – or Go Home? By Amy McDaid

My name is Amy, I am 27 and today is the day I got my overall grade for Go Higher and I got 70%! I could not be any more ecstatic with myself if I tried. However, I could not possibly take all the for credit for my final grade, the lecturers and the other students played a massive part in my studies and achievements and I do not think I could have got such a great grade without the support from them all! But enough about me boasting about how intelligent I think I am (or now know) It is the journey that I and so many others took to get to this point that really matters and in the words of Drake “We started from the bottom, now we here”

Steps, by Marie Court, Go Higher 2017-18

After recently completing Go Higher at the University of Liverpool, I can honestly say it is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made and I am so pleased I decided to take up the offer of a place. I am a mum of two children (22 and 17, now grown up). I left school at 16 with a couple of qualifications O level/CSEs, yes that long ago! By the way I am 48. I went on to find myself in many different jobs that were very much without opportunities and once I had my children I suppose I was content to work part time to fit around bringing up the kids.

From Small Acorns Mighty Oaks Grow! By Gary Stevens, 3rd year psychology student

Before I began this journey, I was fortunate enough to get a job straight out of school. My exam grades were far from overwhelming and, at 18, I had no real work experience yet it seemed I had landed on my feet quite successfully. I remember people telling me how I could forge a great career in the civil service. As time went on I remained in my job but I was never truly satisfied. I always felt as if something was missing but could never put my finger on it. I would try and discuss this with my family and ask their advice which was simple… “You have a good job, don’t throw it away”. Or…  “It’s a safe job, so stay put and get a pension.” Stupidly, and against my gut feeling, I listened and stayed put.