This blog is written by the students and staff on Liverpool University’s Go Higher programme. We’ll be giving you the inside story on what it is like to study and teach on this innovative course which has been going at the University for fourteen years or more. We’ll also be blogging about widening participation in general.
Widening participation is a subject usually dominated by discussions about school pupils with the result that older people often get left out of the picture. Not so here. Go Higher students are aged at least 21 (and often considerably more!) and there are special issues connected to returning to study after some years that this blog will explore from a variety of perspectives. Quite often, our students are unaware of just how valuable their life experience will be to their studies; they may lack confidence in their abilities – a personal hurdle that we work hard to help them overcome. As a tutor on the programme for eight or so years, I am frequently amazed at how students progress from being anxious and unsure about whether they will cope, to blossoming on Go Higher and going on to achieve an excellent degree (and sometimes embarking on postgraduate study after that).
There have been some amazing stories connected to Go Higher and our students over the past few years; I hope this blog will provide a space for celebrating their achievements, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps, and providing a forum to consider widening participation and the experience of mature students in general.
Claire Jones teaches History and Philosophy on Go Higher.