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Access to HE student: Justina Forbes

Speaker key

JR: Jennifer Rocke
JF: Justina Forbes

Transcript

JR: Justina, could you tell me a bit about your experience of the Access to Higher Education Course?

JF: Yeah, it is something that I have always wanted to do, but never got round to doing it, and I think it has really changed my life. I have really learnt a lot, and achieved things that I thought I would never be able to do. It was, you know, I never, ever thought I would go to University, and the Access Course has given me that opportunity to do that, so I feel that a dream of mine, I always thought, I would like to go but never thought I had the academic knowledge to go. So that has, I think that is the biggest thing Access has given me, it has given me that opportunity that I thought I would never have.

JR: And do you have any advice for someone who might be thinking of enrolling onto an Access Course?

JF: It is not an easy course; it takes a lot of work, a lot of study to do it. But if you are willing to put the time in then you will get out the benefits of it. One thing I would say, as well as doing all your four modules, the study skill sessions through the Access Course, really, really prepares you for University life, with doing your personal statement, doing UCAS and then also the academic writing and the way that university expects you to work and be able to hit a target at certain levels. Without the study skills on Access I don't think I would have survived that well at University, but that has given me the grounding, the foundation skills to build on once you are there, sort of thing, so I think that is the main about it. A lot of people don't attend the study skills because they are not compulsory, but you get so much out of them if you do attend.

JR: And is there anything you know now, that you wish you had known before you started the course, or before you applied for it?

JF: Not really, I did research it really well before I went into it, because I, you know, I didn't quite know what I was letting myself in for, but I think, no, I looked at…one thing I did get out of it, is that I did find that I was dyslexic which I thought I might have been but it was never tested; but that was something that I found that they brought up in Access and I was able to be diagnosed which has helped me, greatly, in my assessments and for Uni. But otherwise, I was really informed really, because we had taster days, induction days, before we actually started the course so we were quite prepared. The workload was hard, it was a struggle because I did GCSE's as well, but yeah, I think if you work hard, and you want something badly enough then you will put the hours in that need to be done.

JR: And do you have any tips for Access Students that are going to be applying for University?

JF: Just, your personal statement is the biggest thing. You need to get that right. It is not easy. It is hard, but you need to talk to your tutors, talk to other students, look at past personal statements, and really gear it to the course you are applying for; you know, being a mature student you have different areas that you have worked in, that you can apply and tweak them to what, you know, what course you are doing for, you know, so if you have worked shift hours before, and you are going into Nursing, but you haven't done shift patterns in a supermarket or something like that, make that, turn that into a positive, like, 'Yes, I have worked shift work, I know what the shift pattern is like working in nursing'.

JR: Thank you very much for talking to me today.