Access to Higher Education, Mature learners, Widening Participation

Anticipation, organisation, and lots of cups of strong coffee… By Claire Jones

Go Higher students and staff work hard. Our access Diploma students begin their studies a full month before their fellow Liverpool students following undergraduate degree programmes. Next Tuesday, September 06, we will be welcoming some 92 new students on to campus to commence their part-time studies.

Because of this, September always comes around early for Go Higher tutor, mentor and admin team. Although students will experience a seamless induction and introductory learning stage (or so we hope) there is a lot of backroom hustle and bustle to get everything ready. We are a smallish programme at the University, so we all work together to develop learning materials, strategy and schedules. Anne will have organised 92 welcome packs, with 92 copies of the Getting Started booklet and various other documents and information. Library and campus tours will be arranged by our mentors, Julie, Julia, Michael and Barbara; University student support officers will be here to introduce themselves and their services; the Mature Student Society (set up by ex-Go Highers who are now undergraduates) will give new students the benefit of their considerable wisdom; and our tutor team will be putting the final touches to modules, lectures and online learning resources designed to challenge and excite.

Because we are a small programme we are lucky enough to be familiar with most of our students before they arrive, and this adds to the anticipation. We have met most of them at interview and Anne has been fielding lots of telephone calls with all the usual questions people ask when they have been out of education for a while. Our students are often anxious when they first start Go Higher, and this is to be wholly expected. However, they typically find their feet very soon, get to know the campus like the back of their hand, and make the most of their time with us.

There is probably more to write about the first weeks of Go Higher – but right now I need to get on with the preparation. And make a strong cup of coffee.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.