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Abigail Egbe

Child Nursing degree at City, University of London

My lecturers and tutors were phenomenal! They were very supportive, understanding, encouraging, dedicated and exceedingly helpful.

Abigail’s story

Before the Access to HE course, I was studying for a Child Care Certificate at Barking and Dagenham College. Working with children has always been my passion and I have always sought ways to give back to my community and help vulnerable children.

I found out about the Access to HE courses from my teacher while studying for a Child Care Certificate in 2018. The decision to take the course resulted from my experience caring for a member of my family for over 13 years which cemented my love for children. This experience ignited my interest and inspired me to choose a career in healthcare. So, having had a conversation with my teacher about the course, I felt it was the stepping stone I needed towards fulfilling my dreams of becoming a Pediatric nurse and an opportunity to dedicate myself to providing care for children during their most vulnerable state.

While studying, I worked part-time as a healthcare assistant. Apart from my earnings, I was also entitled to financial support from the college. The bursary I was awarded helped alleviate some of my financial burdens such as my travel expenses and buying the materials I needed for the course.

I am a very organised person. While studying, I created a personal timetable. This helped me to organise my schedules, make notes of various topics, assignments and exams that I had and the due dates to submit my assignment by. This technique allowed me to remain organised all through my study.

My lecturers and tutors were phenomenal! They were very supportive, understanding, encouraging, dedicated and exceedingly helpful. They were always willing to ensure that students understood the course material and didn’t mind explaining the same topic several times. They were always available to answer any question that I had and quick to respond to my emails. They were all there to guide me through any struggles I was facing with any of the units. The support I got from my fellow students was also amazing! We created a Whatsapp group chat which made it easier for us to communicate and share our knowledge or concerns.

Being on the Access to HE Diploma at first was a quite nerve-racking experience for me. I felt out of place and unsure of my ability to succeed particularly because I was out of education for many years. I had amazing support from my lecturers whose excellent teaching techniques enabled me to quickly adapt and settle into the learning environment, gain a better understanding of the course and the education system which made it easier for me to succeed.

Honestly, I was unsure of what to expect from the course, especially because I had no prior knowledge of science subjects which were crucial for the career path that I wanted to embark on. The different units covered on the Access to HE Diploma were all relevant and well detailed. It gave me the foundational knowledge I needed to progress academically and in my career. One of the main things I got out of doing the Access to HE Diploma was the perfect platform it gave me to improve my career opportunities and a stepping stone to achieving my personal goal of becoming a children’s nurse.

I applied to five universities, and all were very receptive to my applications. I received four positive offers. I had a lovely experience whilst on the course. It equipped me with the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence I needed which better prepared me for starting university last year, especially after having missed out on a lot of education.

Currently, I am studying for a Child Nursing degree at City, University of London. I am enjoying the learning experience and I am looking forward to qualifying as a child nurse. The Access to HE Diploma (Nursing) was an opportunity that gave me a second chance and hope in life, and a path towards achieving the goal I had envisioned for myself. I feel having chances and hope is important, especially as an adult learner because sometimes when certain life events occur, it can put our life on hold academically. As a result, it makes us feel like we have missed our chances. So, being on the Access to HE Diploma enabled me to catch up on the education that I had missed out on.

I would encourage anyone thinking about taking an Access to HE Diploma to do it because it is never too late to pursue their dreams and follow their passion. I hope people will be inspired by my story, especially those that may think that it is late for them to gain an education - it is never too late. What I come to appreciate about this country and its education system is the opportunity provided for everyone to learn regardless of the level of education or qualification the person might have. It does not matter the age, race or gender, there is equal opportunity for all.

A lot of people have made a different impact in my life that has contributed to my success today. The teachers at Barking and Dagenham College are amongst those who have left a remarkable imprint on my life. Although many were not aware of my personal struggles, the support and acceptance they provided me in adapting to the learning environment gave me a sense of worth and direction. They made it so easy for me to blend in and kept the learning experience enjoyable. I am grateful to all my teachers; this achievement would not have been possible without them. I would like to use this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all my teachers.