The University Dream – Getting in the Back Door

Becoming a graduate is fast becoming a pre-requisite for so many careers and positions.  While a university qualification is not, by itself, a measure of competence for many roles, huge numbers of jobs are now open only to individuals who possess at least a bachelor’s level of education.  Indeed, take up rates of young people entering higher education in the UK alone have nearly reached the 50% mark (though they’re not all graduating of course).

For many people, particularly in older generations when access to University education was more limited, the prospect of going on to study is an unobtainable dream.  However, things have changed in the past few decades with many more institutions offering university level qualification and many of these are only too eager to get more students from all walks of life.  Enrolment rates amongst young and mature students are up across the board. 

Keeping Up Appearances

Despite their commitment to opening their doors wider, and the need to do so driven largely by changes in funding for Universities and other higher education bodies, they still need to keep up their standards.  This means not accepting just anyone onto their courses unless the administration board can reasonably expect the student as capable of passing the course.

There are two things that course administrators want to see from applicants:

  • Examples of competence of learning; prior school qualifications and the like. 
  • A background in the subject at an earlier related level.  For example, mathematics qualifications or financial work experience for an economics degree.  Biology for taking on a medicine programme. 

For many people, this can be difficult to obtain.  Many people simply don’t thrive under the traditional school system were “One Size Fits All”, but might excel at University where a more independent approach to study is required.  As a result, they may not have the grades they need to apply for their course. 

Making the Grade

An excellent way to make up the shortfall in grades that a person might have is to begin independent study in their own time.  There are a huge range of potential courses available easily over the internet which make it easier than ever before to develop a background in academic study as a bridge to University. 

Indeed, higher education institutions love seeing evidence of independent learning from applicants on their courses, as this is precisely what they will ask of their students.  Enrolling in a distance learning course is an excellent way to build the skills necessary for success in any education enterprise – persistence and initiative. 

And it isn’t just for those who may have struggled at school – even at the highest echelons of education having a distance learning course, particularly a relevant one to the subject you want to study, can be the deciding factor in the offer of a place. 




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