Future U, which works across Lancashire to encourage more people to consider higher education, is hosting a range of events through May and June to inspire more people to start university, even if they left school years earlier.
The project says that, in Britain, mature students make up over half of university students, with one in five over 30 years old, but more needs to be done to help mature students to access support around finance, childcare and employment challenges, which can be seen as a barrier to accessing degree education.
Open to current college students and the public, the event at Preston College will take place on Wednesday May 11, between 2-7, and answer questions on starting university, interview techniques, work placements and academic writing.
Education partners including University of Central Lancashire, Edge Hill University and University of Cumbria, alongside current adult students, will also be available to answer questions.
Debbie Ireland, Head of 14-19 Curriculum at Preston College, said: “With a large cohort of adult learners here at the College, the event, a collaborative project bringing together universities, colleges and businesses from across Lancashire, will provide information, advice, and guidance on higher education, allowing individuals to make an informed choice about whether University level study is right for them.
“Sessions on offer will cover a variety of topics, allowing attendees to leave with a wealth of information on academic writing, funding, admissions processes, and student life.”
Future U also held the same event at Burnley College on May 3, and will be heading to West Lancs College on June 9.
Matt Lord, Senior Outreach Officer at Future U, said: “The last two years have seen plenty of people reassessing their life and work situation, pushing themselves to start new careers or improve skills. Plenty of people are changing their careers into fulfilling roles such as health care and nursing, but many jobs still require a university qualification.
“Adult learners can often feel like they won’t fit in at university, that they’re going to be the only one there. They can also face barriers to visiting universities that younger learners don’t due to caring responsibilities or employment commitments.
“Many of our partner universities and colleges have been involved in the development of the roadshow, it’s been a truly collaborative effort to develop something that can make a real impact on the futures of adult learners in Lancashire.”
Hannah Rosbrook, Outreach Officer at University of Cumbria, where 50% of students are over 21 at enrollment, said: “This project has enabled us to work alongside our further and higher education partners within the Lancashire region to break down perceptions and barriers that many adults face and provide additional support, advice and guidance to help them on their own educational journey. We are proud to be part this initiative and look forward to working with our partners in the future.”
Since launching in 2017, Future U has delivered over 1,100 careers activities across 70 schools and colleges in Lancashire, and created a range of educational/careers resources available to download from its website, where you can find more details of the events.