With lots of people out of work because of the pandemic many are now returning to education and at University Centre Weston (UCW) we have seen a 14% increase on new student entry, so I wanted to share with you three reasons why now might be the best time yet to consider studying a university degree.
Firstly, although the Coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly changed what the university experience looks like, at University Centre Weston (UCW) we have used this opportunity to adapt our approach and embrace innovation to offer a rich learning experience where students can enjoy a mix of face-to-face and online teaching. Since the start of term, we have seen students thrive in an environment which not only keeps them safe but also affords the flexibility of meeting their preferred learning style.
Secondly, as many of our degrees can be studied on a part time basis this means we can be flexible around current commitments – even our full time courses have condensed timetables and lessons recorded so a typical week might only consist of 2 or 3 full days of study with plenty of time for work, independent study or family responsibilities. As well as improving our already outstanding student support services by making staff available online and in-person for longer hours, we’ve also introduced additional support funds to enable students to study from home where necessary and make the most of their studies. All students can book virtual or in-person 1:1 sessions with our fantastic welfare team, and as almost a quarter of our students declare a learning difference or disability we offer bespoke academic and pastoral support students to reach their full potential. This level of support saw 31% of UCW achieve a first-class honours degree last year.
And finally, whilst many job sectors have been adversely affected, the quality of a degree is future-proof as the transferable skills obtained from higher education study increase employability. According to the latest figures, 95% of UCW graduates gain employment or progress to further study within 6 months of graduating and we are incredibly proud that some of our students have gone on to work for the likes of Twitter, Amazon and Dyson. We are also constantly developing our curriculum with new degrees being added annually in growth areas including health and social care, engineering and cyber security and we work in partnership with local authorities and national employers such as GKN Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, Atkins and the Ministry of Defence. With travel restrictions in place and some parts of the country hit harder than others, it may be worth considering the benefits of studying locally by seeing how our professional courses can improve career prospects, help you learn industry-specific skills, and ultimately help you stand out more in your search for work.
We understand there may be many people already with the qualifications and experience for university-level study so we’re still taking on applications to start immediately – our Online Open Day on Saturday 17th October is the best way to find out about our courses and whether they are right for you.
JJ Clark, Widening Participation and Recruitment Officer