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Learning no longer in the past

A unique access route to higher education has opened new avenues for a mother from Port Talbot who thought she’d left learning in the past long ago.

Hayley Bassett, 40, has successfully completed the ‘Exploring the Past Foundation Pathway’ through Continuing & Professional Education and is now embarking on a degree in Archaeology and History at the University.

The Foundation Pathway is run as a collaboration between Continuing & Professional Education and the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion. It is designed to give adult learners the opportunity to experience research-led teaching first hand and progress towards studying a degree in archaeology or history.

Hayley didn’t have the opportunity to continue with higher education straight from school, and has for some time been a full-time carer for her autistic daughter. She decided to try the Foundation Pathway as a route back into education and was one of the first students to enrol at the Centre.

Just eight months later she was accepted to study a part-time degree course in Ancient and Medieval History.

The flexibility of the Foundation Pathway enabled Hayley to manage her home life as well as achieving something for herself which for the past few years has been put on hold. She said: “I didn’t have the opportunity to study at university straight from school. I joined the pathway as a personal outlet because after a few very difficult years my self-confidence was very low. I was extremely nervous but soon started to enjoy the classes. The course has given me confidence in my abilities and made me realise that I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.

“Studying history is something I really enjoy and I’m excited to continue with this journey. I am looking forward to becoming a ‘proper’ student, although I must admit I’m also feeling a bit nervous.”

Hayley will begin her studies at the University this September. She believes that if you are willing to learn and can commit to studying, you should take every opportunity presented to you.