Access granted for group of mature students

Mature students on the Access to HE course at Sussex Downs College. SUS-140815-125332001
Mature students on the Access to HE course at Sussex Downs College. SUS-140815-125332001

As teenagers across the town collected their AS and A-Level results last week, a group of mature students were also celebrating and planning their future at university.

Access to Higher Education at Sussex Downs College prepares mature students for the world of university and gives them a pathway into further education.

A recent study found that nearly half of parents (49 per cent) admit to not fully understanding the educational alternatives available outside of GCSE, A-Level and university.

Offering an alternative to the usual academic routes, Access to HE at Sussex Downs College is effectively preparing mature students (aged 19+) for university courses and the world of work.

Having finished the course, students have successfully gained those all-important and extremely competitive university places. Midwifery places at Brighton University are highly sought after, with 1,000 students vying for under 40 places.

At least one Access to HE student at Sussex Downs College has secured a Midwifery place at Brighton University each year, and 2014 is no exception with Natalie Bamber successful in Brighton, and another going on to study Midwifery in Southampton.

Natalie said, “I heard about the Access course through a fellow student at a midwifery lecture. I’ve been out of education for 10 years and it took a while to adjust. However, after passing the first term I was fully aware of how the subjects were taught, the schedule, and where to go for help.”

Pam Hinton, Access to HE lecturer at Sussex Downs College, said, “We often get people wanting to change career path, something many feel is impossible as they get older.

“Access opens up doors and allows students to get to know themselves really well. It’s a fantastic grounding as they learn time management and independent learning, effectively preparing them for university.”

The four Access pathways at the Eastbourne campus are health (for progression onto nursing and midwifery degrees), teacher education (for progression onto primary education degrees), Science (for progression onto a variety of science-related degrees) and humanities (for progression onto a wide variety of degrees including social work, geography, sociology and English).

Those interested in an Access to HE course are invited to an information session on August 27. To book, email