Careers Column 6: Dispelling the myths about higher education
Throughout the summer our expert Advice Team is running a special Careers Column in the Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo and Forest Citizen, offering advice to young people and their parents on the important factors to consider when making decisions about their education and future careers.
If you didn't catch it in the paper, don't worry - we will be posting the articles here on the GC news page every Wednesday.
Read the full article below or click on the image to see it as it appears in the newspaper.
Dispelling the myths about higher education
By Ruth Thomas, Careers Advisor and UCAS Coordinator
At Gloucestershire College we pride ourselves on offering a flexible programme of courses that enables students to achieve higher education qualifications. However, in my role as Careers Advisor, I meet people who are still put off HE, because of longstanding misconceptions about how to access these opportunities.
Below we tackle five common myths about higher education.
- You have to be a full time student to achieve a higher education qualification
It is possible to study most higher education qualifications part-time and still achieve the same level - the only difference is that it will take a bit longer. Many students fit their higher education course around a full or part-time job, either at college or via a blended or distance learning option.
You can also gain a higher education qualification while you earn, through a higher apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship. For example, at Gloucestershire College we offer a BEng Honours Degree Apprenticeship in Electronic and Computer Engineering in partnership with the University of West England (UWE).
- You can only achieve a higher education qualification if you have A levels
According to UCAS, since 2008 there has been a steady rise in the number of students gaining places at university either with BTEC qualifications, or with a combination of A Levels and BTECs. There are also other level three qualifications which are often accepted, including NVQs, advanced apprenticeships and diplomas such as Cambridge Technicals and the Access to Higher Education Diploma.
Last year at Gloucestershire College nearly half of all Level 3 BTEC students progressed to a higher education course.
- You can only achieve higher education qualifications in academic subjects
There are more than 50,000 different courses available through UCAS, which means the choice goes way beyond traditional academic subjects. At Gloucestershire College you can do anything from a BSc in Film Production to a Foundation Degree in Early Years Studies, or an HND in Fashion.
What you choose often depends on your goal, which could be to study a subject you love or because you want to qualify for a particular job or work in a specific industry.
- You have to go to university to achieve a higher education qualification
There are more than 160 different higher education providers in the UK and they are made up of a combination of universities, further education colleges, distance learning providers such as the Open University, private universities and specialist organisations such as drama and music schools. Some providers may offer particular types of higher education qualifications rather offering the full suite, so you need to check out who is offering what by visiting www.ucas.co.uk
- You can only achieve a higher education qualification by taking exams
Each course sets its own form of assessments and it can vary hugely from course to course. Some involve doing end of year exams and others include a combination of exams, course work, project work, presentations and timed assignments. The types of exams can vary too, from essay questions to multiple choice. Make sure you choose a course which includes the form of assessment that suits you best.
Gloucestershire College offers a wide range of higher education courses students at HNC, HND, Foundation Degree and Honours Degree level. With students benefiting from small classes, flexible study options and cheaper course fees than at university.
Find out more at www.gloscol.ac.uk/higher or call Student Services on 0345 155 2020