Access to Higher Education, Mature learners, Student Experience, Student Stories, Widening Participation

Reflections on Go Higher by Lauren (class of 2017)

I was really lucky to get onto Go Higher because I only found out about its existence within a few days of the application closing date. I had applied for another Access to Higher Education course and was dreading the childcare implications (I’m a single mother) since it ran over three days. Go Higher, however, is one full day a week and much more manageable, and I’ve had time to organize childcare for when I start my degree full-time in September. To be honest, I couldn’t believe my luck at having discovered Go Higher for another reason –

it’s run from the actual university that I aspired to attend! Starting at the University of Liverpool in September to begin a degree programme is a much less daunting prospect now that I am familiar with the campus, the intranet, some of the staff and the general atmosphere of the university (which I might add, are all excellent). When beginning the course, I was immediately thrilled by the quality of the lecturers, mentors and the course content. There is a lot of work (especially if you haven’t been in education for a number of years) but the fact that the topics are all so interesting is a huge counterbalance to this. I actually found that doing my assignments, once my daughter was in bed, was extremely enjoyable: it was my time!

One downside, if you can call it that, is that the subjects are all so interesting that I had quite a hard time at first figuring out what degree programme I wanted to apply for. Thankfully it soon became clear and I found myself re-engaging with what had always been my favourite subject at school, English Literature. It feels so nice to be going back to that! What is also fantastic about Go Higher is how familiar you become with the various methodologies that otherwise you would have to pick up rather quickly once beginning your degree, such as referencing, assignment structuring and using the library; this has made me feel really prepared ahead of September. Before beginning the programme I was sceptical and wondered if I was overestimating myself and the time that I could spare to really apply myself to it. However, I was immediately so inspired by the quality of this course, and so appreciative about even being on it, that before I realised it I was looking forward to Wednesdays and even to doing my assignments. I cannot exaggerate how personally valuable Go Higher has been to me – and I am now incredibly excited (and of course, a little nervous) about beginning a degree in September. If you are considering Go Higher, my recommendation is – just go for it!

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