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Dad of five achieves his University Dream

Dad-of-five Jamie Alderson struggled with his education after his GCSEs coincided with him starting a family. Despite this Jamie, 26, was determined to become a role model for his children and so jumped at the chance to enrol on a higher education course at Hartlepool College of Further Education.

Jamie Alderson

Jamie (pictured right) was a carer for his ex-wife for nearly 10 years before going their separate ways, with Jamie taking custody of the kids.

In 2012 Jamie’s sister heard about the Access to Higher Education course and suggested it to him. He went in to enquire and signed onto the Functional Skills course, allowing him to get the GCSE equivalent in Maths and English to allow him to pass the course. Jamie started the 8-month intensive course and finished June 2015.

Jamie said: “I wanted to be a role model for my kids and I knew the best way to do that was to get a good education.

“Don’t get me wrong, it was hard at first when I came here and I had to push myself with English and Maths to make sure I got the qualification but the feeling of completing the Access to HE course was unbelievable”.

“I had really enjoyed the psychology aspect of the fundamental skill course and loved the children’s topics, as it meant I could go home and put the theory into practice with the kids”.

“The course also helped me to apply for University and create my personal statement. With the help of the College, I had offers from Teesside, Sunderland, Northumbria and Durham”.

Jamie is now in his first year studying Psychology at Durham University.

Jamie says “So far it’s been great and to be honest I’m miles ahead of the people who have been at college for two years, they’re still learning how to Harvard reference and to properly format an essay, whereas within my 8 month course all of that has already been covered”.

“Time management is obviously an important thing, especially with a big family but the skills I’ve learnt through the Access to HE course have really set me up for University deadlines.”

“I’m not going to say it’s easy, it’s definitely a challenge especially with a big family. But the college were really there for me, I can’t thank my lecturers enough.”

“One Awards' innovative results service has been a fantastic development for universities and allows us to check students' achievement immediately ourselves. This is an excellent service which means that we are able to confirm student places quickly and effectively without having to follow up with providers and students or wait for results to be sent on to us. This is because their certification turnaround time of less than two days allows One Awards to process student results almost as soon as the colleges/providers have provided the final verified results. This really does help us put students at the heart of our confirmation process”.

Jane Oswald, Assistant Director, Marketing & Student Recruitment
University of Sunderland