Former Telford College higher education student Jacob Walker has graduated with a first class honours degree in applied biomedical science.
The 44-year-old, from Randlay, was an access to higher education student at the college in 2015 and 2016, before continuing his studies at the University of Wolverhampton.
“I always regretted not going to university and thought that I had missed my chance,” he said.
“Then I heard of a family friend that was taking an Access to HE course. After I did some research, I found out that the course catered for mature students who wanted to go to university, so I seized the opportunity to change my life.
“The course was challenging but very rewarding. The Telford College tutors were supportive and
loved helping students achieve their dream of going to university.”
Jacob said he had always been interested in science, and wanted to help people. As a biomedical scientist, he analyses patient samples for evidence of diseases such as leukaemia to help doctors diagnose and treat patients.
“The Access science course helped me write a personal statement, which secured me an offer from several universities. Furthermore, I learned how to reference, which was invaluable, and gave me a head start on other students.”
His message to other mature students who may be in a similar position is: “It’s not too late for you to change your life. My effort has paid off, just as yours will.
“University is no longer for the chosen few. If you wish you had gone to university and feel that you missed your opportunity or maybe you never thought you could, now is your chance.
“Four years may seem like a long time, but where do you want to be in four years? Do you want to be reading this wishing you had made that leap of faith, or doing your dream job with a smile on your face?”
Telford College currently offers Access to Higher Education courses in specialist areas such as social science, science, and health professionals. More details can be found at www.telfordcollege.ac.uk
Caroline Bastow, learner manager for higher education and access at Telford College, said: “Our Access to HE courses really can change people’s lives, with funding available in certain cases, and a wide range of career progression opportunities.
“For example, when people think about a career helping others, their first thought is usually nursing or social work – but there are many other roles that are equally valuable in supporting community health and wellbeing.”