17 November 2021
Katie, a former Access to Higher Education student at York College, recently got in touch with us to share her story of progressing to the University of Cambridge.
Katie completed the Access to HE Diploma in Humanities and Social Sciences, and will now be going on to study English at Cambridge – renowned as one of the most prestigious universities in the UK and the wider world.
You can read all about Katie’s Access experience below.
How has the course impacted on your life opportunities - what difference has this made to you and why?
The impact of the course on me, in particular, has been asteroid-level which, admittedly, sounds like no small exaggeration! But in truth, it has made all the difference to my life opportunities - and I say this without as much as a hint of hyperbole. It has given me the opportunity that I have wanted all my life, the ‘in-your-clichéd-wildest-dreams’ type of opportunity: to study English at the University of Cambridge.
What are your plans now that you have achieved?
Now that I have finished further education, I will be taking the leap to higher education and leaving the land of the North for the southern climes of Cambridge next year. And - full disclosure - I am as trepidatious as I am excited!
What was the best thing about the Access to HE Diploma for you?
The best thing about the Diploma was not a ‘something’, but rather a ‘someone’. I had always believed that ‘life-changing’ teachers were the stuff of myth until I met a legend who conclusively proved otherwise. On both a personal and professional level, my tutor at York College has been unwaveringly superlative - going above and beyond (and then some!) as a tutor, and seemingly giving a subject a life of its own as a teacher.
What are you looking forward to now that you have your Diploma?
The Diploma has not only enabled access to higher education, but it has provided a gateway to a life I have long wanted to be part of. Now that I have my Diploma, I am looking forward to, as I see it, life beginning - in my thirties. York College and the Access course also taught me that this is not as late a start as I had first feared.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Life is not linear and education is not the preserve of the young. The Access course is a course for all ages and stages, which allows for lives (like mine) that are less than ordinary; which, in my opinion, is nothing less than extraordinary.
If you have been out of education for some time, or lack traditional qualifications such as A Levels, an Access to HE Diploma can give you a second chance to progress to higher education. To find out more about studying an Access to HE Diploma, you can visit our Student Information page.
Could your organisation help adult learners to change their lives through education? Find out how to become an Access Centre.