When I received the offer, I couldn’t believe it, it felt so good

07 July 2015 Kemi Mode, Access to HE student

Kemi Mode never thought she would go to university, now she has an offer to study a degree in social work

Kemi grew up in Nigeria. She always wanted to go to university. When she came to England her husband sadly passed away, but she felt determined that she wanted to do something to improve her life.

She had always worked in customer service, but due to a difficult childhood she wanted to help others in need and become a social worker.

Volunteering at a women’s refuge in North London inspired her that she could make a difference and she decided to look in to pursuing a formal qualification.

Enrolling on an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Social Work at City and Islington College, Kemi now has an offer to study for a BA in Social Work at the University of Middlesex with the ambition of working to help abused children.

Access courses provide a potentially life-changing platform from which adult learners can move on to university.

She said: “I would encourage those who want to improve themselves and who want to go to university to do it. It was difficult adapting to being in a classroom as when I was growing up I was not allowed to give opinions on anything at home. My classmates and tutor have really helped me and have organised assertiveness classes for me, as a result my confidence is growing.

“When I went to the interview at the University of Middlesex and they offered me a place I could not believe it. I felt so good.”

To help support her studies, Kemi took out a Government 24+ loan which covers her course fees for her year of study. If she goes on to complete her degree, she will not have to pay a penny of the loan back.

She said: “I did research online before I came to enrol and heard about 24+ loans. I was prepared to take on the debt if I made it to university, but the loan was certainly an extra motivating factor.”

Kemi’s tutor, Mel Brookstone, said: “Kemi’s progress and determination has been exceptional. Access courses provide a potentially life-changing platform from which adult learners can move on to university.  The nature of the course helps instil self-belief, as well as giving students the necessary tools to function while at university.”

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