A year ago retail assistant Kiana Thomas would have never believed she had the potential to study at university. But now this hard working mum from Birmingham is looking forward to starting a degree in Nursing in a few months.
It is all thanks to an Access to University course at Bournville College that Kiana enrolled on in January. Its aim is to enable adults without formal qualifications to gain a broad base of knowledge and skills so that they can go onto University the following year.
‘I didn’t want to be a typical young mum with no ambition. I wanted to educate myself so my daughter can have a better life. I always wanted to do nursing so I thought I’d give it a try.’ she explained.
Kiana admits that the course was a challenge: ‘It was very daunting to start with and a major culture shock as going back to education isn’t easy. I had never been to college before this,I did an apprenticeship years ago when I finished school. The course is very intense and it required a lot of hard work. I have made many good friends along the way, all classmates are very supportive and encouraging of each other.’
Now Kiana is looking forward to her degree course and a rewarding career in Adult Nursing. Her fellow Access students have gone onto study various subjects at university, including Social Work, Midwifery, Teaching, Engineering and more. In fact, this course is so popular that this year Bournville College has expanded the range of subjects that it covers by introducing new pathways into Criminology and Sports Science.
Alma Aganovic from Bournville College explains: ‘Adult students come flocking to Bournville to do the Access course because they realise it offers a second chance. Even if you left school early you can still go to university with only one year of study. What’s more, you can get an Advanced Learning Loan that you don’t need to pay back if you complete your degree course, so technically your Access course is free of charge.’
To find out more, call the College on 0121 694 5000 or visit www.bournville.ac.uk and search for Access to Higher Education courses.