Access To Higher Education Success

Tony Sapiano

Graduation Success For Access To Higher Education Students

Kensington and Chelsea College students proved there’s more than one way to get into university after completing a fast-track course that earned them a shot at Higher Education.

The group, majority of which were returning to education after several years, recently celebrated graduating from a one-year Access to Higher Education course.

The course is aimed at giving people who left school early in life and without the right qualifications a route into university.

Among this year’s graduation success stories was Tony Sapiano. Tony, from Golborne Road, West London, is hoping to become a teacher and inspire young people to embrace life in a positive way.

Tony’s dream to teach is all the more poignant having missed his own chance at education as a child.

Describing himself as a ‘nightmare student’, Tony left school without any qualifications after a turbulent school life that eventually led to expulsion.

Despite picking up skills through various jobs, it wasn’t until he became involved with a project mentoring young people that Tony discovered a natural flair for teaching.

Determined to pursue his new found passion, he returned to education and eventually found himself on the Access to Humanities and Social Sciences course.

Tony said: ‘The Access course was my way in to teaching and getting the qualifications I needed to land a place at university. It was whilst working with children with behavioural difficulties that I realised the importance of being able to pass on knowledge.’

‘I was really surprised by how much I loved teaching. It wasn’t something I’d ever considered but now I think I should’ve always been a teacher! Like many of the young people I mentored, I’ve also been expelled from school so I could identify with a lot of them and how they felt about education.’

‘Like them I didn’t care about education when I was younger but I realise now how important it is to have the right learning environment. I feel really strongly about giving young people the support and skills for a good start in life, and would absolutely love to teach them about tolerance and learning to embrace things that are different.’

More than 50 students graduated from several Access Courses run by the college. Many of the students have now secured places at University, including Tony who will be studying at Goldsmiths.

Speaking about his course, Tony said: ‘The course was brilliant and one of the best experiences of my life. The staff and students got on incredibly well, and there is so much diversity that you constantly feel like you’re learning new things not just academically but also about the cultures around you and your peers. I’ve had some really inspiring tutors that I’d happily listen to all day long.’

All the students at the graduation ceremony were presented with certificates from the established broadcast journalist and university lecturer Dr Vincent Magombe.