Higher education is not just for 18-year-olds!: 3 University Myths Uncovered

If someone was asked to envisage a university student, most of us would picture a privileged but inexperienced 18 year old, fresh out of A-Levels… As a result, a number of myths have grown around higher education (HE) which are putting many people off finding out more about HE study, causing them then to miss out on the many benefits it might offer them! Here are just 3 common examples:

1.)      ‘Higher education is just for 18 year olds’: The reality is that universities have always had a significant proportion of more ‘adult’ learners making up their student population. Large numbers of students balance full, or part-time work alongside study, have partners and/or children, and even careers already in place which they are either looking to boost through increased skills and qualifications, or to move into a completely new area. Other students have simply decided to take a break from learning before re-visiting the idea at a later stage. University courses are there to benefit people at ANY age.

2.)      ‘University is so expensive, I can’t afford to go’: It’s true that the figures of £50,000 which have been so well documented in the press, are enough to put almost anyone off from even considering university! However, the more relevant information about sources of funding, repayments and how affordable a degree CAN be is, comparatively, very rarely talked about.

Here is an excellent independent guide to how ‘You can afford to go to Uni’ by Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert from moneysavingexpert.com :

3.)      ‘You need to have A-Levels to go to university’: Many universities consider a range of educational qualifications in their admissions criteria, including equivalent qualifications which some adults might have as part of their professional training or other courses.
Work and life experiences can also play a big part in gaining a good university place, so people shouldn’t be put off from pursuing their interest in HE study, just because they didn’t take A-Level courses – there are lots of other routes to university too!

If you are over 21 and interest in finding out more about doing a HE qualification for the first time, please contact lucy.judd@ntu.ac.uk or call 0115 848 2498 to find out more about our ‘Return to Learning’ programme which provides support in finding out more information , and applying for university places.

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Author: Lucy Judd
Editor(s): Siba Munsanje

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