There are a variety of reasons why people want to go back into education. Furthering your studies can help to improve your employability and move you toward the career you want. It can help you enter the world of work after a period of absence and can provide you with relevant skills needed within the workplace.
Whatever your motivations are for getting back into education, there tends to be concerns that hold many people back.
There are a variety of funding options available to UK and EU students who are studying a degree for first time. If you are aged between 18-59 and live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, you can get student support to help fund your studies, including a loan for tuition fees and maintenance costs. If you are over 60, you are still able to apply for funding to cover the cost of tuition fees.
In addition, if you have children, you may be entitled to a Parent’s Learning Allowance. You can find out more about the funding options available. There are also further funding options available for students with disabilities.
A concern for returners to education is often regarding the completion of assignments. After being out of education for a few years, many students worry about how to write an essay or how to revise. For many, its lack of confidence, yet many students will have these underlying skills and probably use them in work every day without realising.
If you want to study and continue working, there are a range of options you could consider. If you don’t have the time to go to university full time, you could potentially look at studying a part-time or an online degree. Whether you choose to study a degree online or on campus, you will still need to ensure you give yourself enough time to complete your studies. An online course has the same rigour as a course studied on campus, and as such, you will still need to dedicate enough time to complete the work. However, online learning offers you the flexibility to study at a time which suits you, rather than to a fixed timetable.
Keeping Up with the Lessons
Many entering university whether a mature student or a school leaver, will have worries about whether or not they can study at that level and may be nervous about starting the course.
You may actually find that in seminar discussions it’s the mature students who are more confident in speaking to the group and sharing ideas, possibly because they have experience of doing this through their work experience.
Fitting in with the Students
A lot of students entering onto an undergraduate course may be recent school/college leavers, yet as many people realise that to move forward in their career they need a more formal qualification, more and more students from a range of backgrounds and a variety of ages are going back into education. Many students appreciate others that have experience and being in a classroom with a range of individuals can really enrich everyone’s learning experience.
Receiving Academic Support
However you choose to study, whether it’s online or on campus, you will be given the support you need so you can successfully complete your degree. If for instance you’re worried about your computer literacy and think this is holding you back, universities can offer support or easy to follow online guides to get you fully up to speed and feeling confident.
If you’re a mature student looking at going back into education, you can potentially enter on to a university course without traditional GCSE and A Level qualifications. You could do an “access to higher education course” which prepares learners for degree level education. If you have already started a degree but didn’t complete it, you can usually use your credits from that course toward another degree.
Are you thinking of getting back into education? If so, what’s stopping you? Let us know in the comments section below.