Widening Participation

On choosing a degree programme by Claire Jones

LibraryCafeSpring is always an exciting time on Go Higher. Our current students, who started with us part-time last September, have mostly got their offers though for places on their chosen degree programmes. This is when things get really serious. Their goal is nearly in their hands; decisions need to be made. We are on the final straight.

It always makes me smile when I discover what undergraduate programme they have opted for: new beginnings are so exciting. Some students have made up their minds already about what subject they intend to study at degree level before they start Go Higher – but sometimes even the most certain minds become unmade. We have a series of guest lectures which run bi-weekly throughout the programme and this opens students’ eyes to the diversity of programmes that Liverpool University can offer. Academics from departments across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences have given lectures to this year’s Go Higher students, from Philosophy (Would you kill Hitler?) to Business Studies, English, Sociology, Architecture and more. Sometimes students find themselves going on to an undergraduate pogramme that they had not even been aware existed before – and, typically, excelling at it.

I can remember more than one student applying to do Egyptology after a particularly inspiring guest lecture in which students learned, among other things, to read hierglyphics. It has been a similar story with other subjects too.

Not all Go Higher students stay on at Liverpool; some go on to other local universities and institutions further afield. However we do like them to stay here; it is always a joy to walk round campus and bump into ex-go higher students and find out how they are doing. There are lots of them here, not only on undergraduate programmes but on postgraduate ones too.

So, this time of year is definitely one for hopes and expectations. Six months ago our students joined us and nearly all of them were a little bit trepidatious about what returning to study would be like – would they be able to do it? Well, yes. Our students have so much life experience to bring to their studies (even if they have no formal qualifications yet) and this is a real asset that sets them apart. Best of luck to all of them in this final stage of Go Higher.

Claire Jones

Claire teaches History and Philosophy on Go Higher; she always a wee bit jealous at this time of year when she out what exciting undergraduate choices her students have made.

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