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Life-changing Access to Higher Education Course

Life-changing Access to Higher Education Course

Former Construction Worker Swaps Hard Hat for Degree Cap Thanks to Life-changing Access Course

A former construction worker who left school without qualifications was among a group of adults who completed a life-changing course at Kensington and Chelsea College to bring their dream of going to university alive.

Brian Wood, 32, gained his shot at university after passing the college’s nationally renowned one-year Access to Higher Education Course.

The fast track course gives people who left education without the right qualifications a route into Higher Education. This year 80 graduating Access students secured places at various universities, including Russell group institutions such as Kings College and University College, London.

Brian decided to embark on a career in teaching after more than a decade working in construction.

‘When I began volunteering with a charity that helped children with special needs it made me think about more personally rewarding careers.’ said Brian. ‘I really enjoyed what I was doing with the charity. Children have an infectious sense of creativity and energy which I loved being around. A career in teaching felt like a natural step to me. It certainly makes a change from the worksite!’

However, it wasn’t until Brian discovered the Access Course that he gained the confidence and self-belief that he could gain a place at university and become a teacher.

Speaking about his return to education he added: ‘The Access Course gave me a second chance that I thought I’d never get. My tutors on the course have been inspiring, motivating and full of support. Without the course I’d never of had the confidence to pursue university.’

Brian is now looking forward to starting his Teaching Degree at Roehampton University.

Among the other success stories was former Restaurant Manager Rachid Hadibi who gave up the day job to pursue a career as a social worker.

Speaking about the Access course 45-year old Rachid said: ‘Although I had the equivalent of GCSEs I decided to go straight into work after school. I’ve done a lot of voluntary work with charities and have a real passion for social work so finally decided to pursue a career in it. The Access course at Kensington and Chelsea College gave me my route to university. It’s a brilliant way to get to university for those who haven’t got the traditional qualifications. It’s amazing what you can learn in one-year and how your life can change!’

The Access students were recognised for their achievements during a graduation ceremony at the college’s Wornington Centre where they were presented with certificates from established broadcast journalist and university lecturer Dr Vincent Magombe.

Heaping praise on the students Dr Magombe said: ‘It’s wonderful to be part of an event that is helping shape people’s lives. The students are a vibrant multi-cultural mix, full of ambition and they all thrive off each other. You can see they are like a family and I hope they continue those bonds they have made with each other for life.’

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