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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – support and information

Vijaya Lakshmi Beard

Second-Year Nursing Student, Birmingham City University



The most important thing I have taken from the Access Diploma is that it has given me hope. I was in a place of career stagnation - it gave me a second chance to shape my career and the rest of my life.

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Vijaya's story

Before I started Access to HE, I was working as an assistant restaurant manager for around 12 years. I heard about the Diploma online, when I was completing functional skills courses in English and Maths. I was already thinking about higher education, so I looked through some of the university websites and saw that the Access to HE Diploma was a potential route of entry for mature students.


My Access to HE Diploma has taken me to my nursing degree and opened so many possibilities for me. I want to become a nurse educator in the future - with my life experiences and the knowledge I have gained, I want to be able to share that with others.


The Diploma was a real eye-opening experience for me - coming as an international student from India, all of my previous studies had been conducted in my native language. The course team put me at ease, and I was able to meet up with and learn alongside people from a range of ages and backgrounds. This made me feel like I was in the right place and gave me hope for future opportunities.


It wasn’t easy to start with, the workload was quite intense but I thoroughly enjoyed all of the assignments I completed and every activity that we carried out throughout the course. The highlight for me was the way that they taught students, particularly mature students and inspired them with the supportive and inspiring manner in which they provided feedback. Lecturers often stayed behind after class or before class, if we needed additional help or support.


My Access to HE Diploma has prepared me thoroughly for the Nursing degree. It helped to put me at ease in the first year of my undergraduate degree. Given that my degree is mostly assessed through assignments, I felt that having completed the Access to HE Diploma which also had a large amount of assignments, helped me to get through the first year.


If you are thinking of starting an Access to HE Diploma - please take it. I wouldn’t even think twice in recommending it.