A group of adults who returned to education later in life brought their dreams of going to university alive, thanks to a course run by Kensington and Chelsea College.
The group gained their shot at university after successfully completing the college’s one-year Access to Higher Education Course.
The life-changing fast track course gives people who left school early in life, and without the right qualifications, a route into Higher Education. This year 80 graduating Access students secured places at various universities, including Oxford.
Ben Page, 22, studied Access to Humanities and Social Science after being forced to give up a promising tennis career following an injury. He is now looking forward to studying for a Degree in Philosophy and Theology at Oxford University having successfully passed his Access course.
Ben, who wants to become a Philosophy teacher, said: “What I most enjoyed about the Access course was interacting with the tutors. Their knowledge goes beyond the text book. They know so much, which made the course even more interesting.”
Among the other success stories from the course was Miles Ahad. Miles decided to turn his life around after working in various unskilled jobs, from labourer to shop worker, since leaving school 19 years ago.
Having successfully completed Access to Humanities Miles, from Islington, is now looking forward to studying for a Degree in Law and History to become a solicitor.
Miles, 36, said: “I ended up working as soon as I left school and found myself doing all kinds of jobs – but none that would lead a proper career. I wanted to go for better jobs but soon realised it was tough to get them without qualifications.
“I thought about the Access Course for a very long time and spoke to lots of people about it as coming back to education was a difficult step for me. I had huge doubts as to whether I could cope in a classroom situation and started the course really nervous. I was also very frustrated at the start of the course as my grades weren’t very good, but by the end of it I was getting really high grades, and feeling more confident about my future.”
Despite his initial reservations Miles wishes he had “signed up to the course 10 years earlier”, adding “I feel liberated. The course has opened up opportunities for me”.
Praising the college and tutors Miles said: “The course is only as good as the tutors. It’s all down to their excellent teaching and support. The experience at the college has been brilliant and I’m really looking forward to what the future holds.”
Access course students were recognised for their achievements and passing their course during a graduation ceremony at the college’s Wornington Centre.
Award winning journalist, Beatrix Campbell, was special guest at the event and presented students with their certificates.