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option for me," she says. "It enabled
me to achieve a good balance.
"The course has helped develop my
research, writing and presentation skills,
and I feel more confident. Prior to this
course I was able to complete an Access
to HE course at the college, which really
prepared me for higher education.
"Since completing a foundation degree
in business management, I now hope to
move to a more senior position and
I am also contemplating further study."
The education ladder
It isn't only those returning to education
who benefit from the university centre - it
also provides an end-goal to those already
studying further education courses on
campus. It's an opportunity to start college
at 16 and ultimately leave with a degree.
Ashley Bradbury recently graduated
from Vision University Centre having
progressed through the ranks at Vision
West Nottinghamshire College. The
opportunities that higher-level study
presented helped him move from college
student to university graduate, while still
being only a few miles from home.
"I was already studying at the college
and thought studying at the university
centre had a great deal of benefits,"
says Ashley. "It allowed me to be in
an environment I was familiar with,
was cost-effective and accessible.
"Throughout my time at the college I've
been given opportunities to progress and
I've gained much more than qualifications.
I'm now looking forward to graduating
and moving into the gaming industry."
Cost is another deciding factor. With some
universities now charging over £9,000
J&C West Nottinghamshire College DPS jw4.indd 169
per year for courses, undergraduates are
looking for alternative options - and this
is where studying locally can be beneficial.
As well as saving money on travel and
accommodation costs, many colleges can
offer a cost-effective solution to studying
higher education, charging much lower
tuition fees than traditional universities.
Those looking to upskill for work can also
choose one of many professional courses,
including AAT, CIM, CIPS and CIPD, that
offer more role-specific qualifications.
The courses may be lower in price,
but they're equal in quality and standard
to those offered at larger institutions.
Colleges can be
lower tuition fees
Working with partner universities means
colleges are able to offer courses that
have been officially validated, allowing
graduates the opportunity to earn
the same qualifications as their peers
but in a more familiar environment.
A smaller campus also means
smaller class sizes, which can prove
more attractive to those who learn
better in a more personal setting.
Rebecca Slack progressed on to a
BA (Hons) Applied Studies (Theatre)
(Top-up) from her studies at Vision West
Nottinghamshire College, and credited
passionate tutors and the relationships
she formed with her peers in helping
her to achieve her degree. "Moving on
to the HND gave me the opportunity
to work with the same tutors - and I'm
really grateful that they've been able
to see my progression," she says.
"Knowing everyone on the course meant
we had a respect for one another - we
were always working together on various
projects, and I feel I've made friends for life.
"The tutors care passionately about
the course. Although they obviously
push you to strive educationally, they are
also interested in you as a person. They
allowed us to grow and find ourselves."
With accessibility, competitive fees,
saving on travel and accommodation
costs, and quality tutor time - all
while earning your degree - it's easy
to see the value of staying local.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more about Vision West
Nottinghamshire College and
Vision University Centre
or call 0808 100 3626