A special event is being held at The Hive this month for people interested in returning to education.
The Return to Learning in Science and Health event is being hosted by the University of Worcester on Saturday, June 18 from 10am to 2pm and is aimed at adults who wish to gain qualifications in science, healthcare or Medicine.
“This could be people who have been made redundant, parents whose children have reached an age where they have gone to nursery/school, or simply people who might be considering a change in career but don’t currently have the necessary qualifications,” said Christianne Wakeham, Curriculum Development and Employability Lead in the University’s School of Science and the Environment.
The courses that will be represented at the event include the Foundation Year in Biological Sciences and Foundation Year in Healthcare, BSc courses in Biology, Biomedical Science, Medical Sciences, Forensic and Applied Biology, Environmental Management and Sustainability, and the University’s new Graduate Entry Medicine (MBChB) course.
“We will be able to talk through things like what to expect from university, details of the various courses, what sort of support is available etc,” added Ms Wakeham. “We will also be able to signpost prospective applicants to information around student finance and there will be current mature student ambassadors available to talk through their experiences of returning to education.”
One of those ambassadors who will be available on the day is Mike Bedford, a 49-year-old father-of-six, who is studying for a degree in Biomedical Science at Worcester.
“Before the pandemic I ran my own home improvements business,” he said. “But the pandemic saw business dry up. With no income I started thinking about what I was going to do. I had always thought I was capable of doing a degree but didn’t have the inclination previously. However, this now seemed like my chance and so I took it.”
Mike, from Wychbold, said it was the best decision he could have made. “I never imagined I would get so excited about study, but I am. It’s been a really fantastic experience so far and I’m just enjoying the journey and will see where it takes me. I would definitely say to other mature students that, if you have the motivation you should just go for it.”
Dan Morris will also be available to chat to at the event. He is also studying for a degree in Biomedical Science, and, like Mike, decided to return to education after his employment dried up in the pandemic.
“My wife had started a degree in Midwifery at the University and I thought why not give it a go myself,” said the 31-year-old, from Worcester. “Originally I wanted to be a paramedic, but when I went to an Open Day, I realised it wasn’t for me after all and I decided I wanted to do Biomedical Science.”
“I had been out of education for 15 years so it was a little bit daunting at first, but all the support I’ve had has been amazing,” Dan added. “People often say to me that they wish they could do it, and I just say that they should. There is a lot of support, you just need to get yourself organised.”
Jade-Marie McKenzie has just finished her Biomedical Science degree at Worcester. “I didn’t leave school with very good GCSE grades and didn’t think university was for me,” said the 23-year-old, from the Forest of Dean. “I went into childcare first of all and then beauty but with both I realised that something was missing – these just weren’t the careers I wanted long term. I had always enjoyed science at school and then I saw an advert for my local college where I could do an Access to Higher Education course in science. It got me thinking and I decided to give it a go.”
Four years after enrolling to study an Access course, Jade has now completed her degree and is currently applying for jobs.
“I’m so glad that I just went for it,” she said. “I would say to others that don’t ever think university isn’t for you – you might just surprise yourself.”