Seven Exploring the Past students realise life-long ambition

3 October 2017

The seven Exploring the Past pathway students pictured with Co-ordinator Dr Paul Webster (second from far right).
The seven Exploring the Past pathway students pictured with Co-ordinator Dr Paul Webster (second from far right).

‘Magnificent Seven’ start degree studies after completing Exploring the Past pathway

Seven adult learners have realised their dream of a university education after completing an alternative education pathway designed by Cardiff University.

Exploring the Past is one of a number of pathways designed for adults returning to education who want to move towards studying at degree level.

An alternative to A-level and access qualifications for adults, students are taught by the University’s Division of Continuing and Professional Education. Through evening and weekend lectures and seminars, students gain first-hand experience of studying at degree level in a vibrant higher education environment.

Having overcome significant challenges, the seven adult learners are starting degrees in the University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion.

Sian Williams, one of the seven students said: “I would highly recommend the courses. As a mature student who hasn’t been in education for 30 plus years I was unprepared and didn’t have the confidence or skills to go straight into a degree.  After completing the Exploring the Past courses I am confident I am ready.  Besides from knowledge I have gained confidence and my self- esteem has increased greatly.”

“Taking these courses has changed my life, if you had told me three years ago I would be studying a degree I would have laughed at you!  All the staff have been amazing, so supportive and encouraging.”

Jake Williams added: “The course opens your mind to new places, times, people and beliefs.  It is informative but also informal. I was so nervous about starting as I am dyslexic and had none of the skills I needed to start a degree but these courses gave me everything I needed to do just that!  Doing education in the 70’s I was always told I was the ‘thick one’.  I have changed in lots of ways, I look at things differently and question things a lot more.”

Since its establishment in 2010, the Exploring the Past Pathway has seen 35 adult learners progress into higher education. 11 of these have already graduated with degrees and more will follow in the next few years. Five former Pathways students have progressed on to postgraduate study since completing their degrees.

Dr Paul Webster, co-ordinator of the Exploring the Past Pathway said:  “We are so proud of the seven students progressing onto degrees with us this year, they are all an inspiration! Their stories reveal how taking a small step in returning to learning can lead to hugely positive life changing experiences. We wish them all the very best with their studies and will be here to continue to support them throughout their degrees.”

The next Exploring the Past pathway course start from 19 October.  To find out more contact Dr Paul Webster websterp@cardiff.ac.uk .

Continuing and Professional Education provide 10 routes to undergraduate degrees at Cardiff University in a range of areas. Further information is available here.