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Graduate who returned to education after 20 years graduates with a 1st Class Honours at the Hugh Baird University Centre

AFTER 20 years away from the classroom, Hugh Baird University Centre student, Catherine Coburn is celebrating thanks to graduating with a 1st class honours degree in Business and Management. After becoming a new Mum, Catherine decided that she wanted to return to education in order to put herself in a position to secure a better paid job to help her provide a brighter future for her family.

Catherine enquired at the Hugh Baird University Centre about the qualifications needed to get onto a degree and was positively surprised that she could be accepted onto a degree course thanks to her previous career experience in management.

Catherine said:- "In the beginning I was certain I wasn't clever enough to pass the degree, let alone be accepted onto a degree course. I did my GCSEs in 1999 and that was the end of my education. I felt sick waiting for my grade for the 1st assignment I submitted. However, when I got my result, I'd achieved 73%! This really gave me a confidence boost and from then on I started shaking off the doubts I had about myself. I now feel able to take on any task or challenge and I have made myself a rule to always say yes to a challenge or an opportunity."

Reflecting on the time she spent at the Hugh Baird University Centre, Catherine added:- "My tutors encouraged me throughout my time at the University Centre and challenged me on the negative beliefs I had about myself. The tutors and my classmates felt like family, we celebrated our highs and supported each other through the difficult times. Lessons were engaging and fun and we also got to meet with industry experts to help us to get ready for our next steps."

Courses delivered at the University Centre are all approved by the University of Central Lancashire, meaning students leave with a degree from 1 of the North West's best universities. Courses are often more reasonably priced and students from the local area don't incur the costs of living away from home.

The Centre also prides itself on the support it provides to its students as well as the quality of the provision it delivers. The University Centre is 1 of an elite group of higher education providers in the UK who have been awarded TEF Gold Status. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) was introduced in 2017 to provide evidence about the performance of the higher education sector in the UK.

Catherine said:- "I received a bursary in my 1st year which enabled me to purchase the necessary equipment required for my course. The IT Support department gave us extra IT lessons in order to help the less computer literate students improve their skills and get to the level required. This was really beneficial to me and other mature learners on the course. I had no idea about spreadsheets or PowerPoint before I started. Now I love to put presentations together and I use spreadsheets for a whole range of different projects I work on."

When asked about what advice she would give to anyone thinking about applying for a degree course at the Hugh Baird University Centre, Catherine said:- "Don't think about it, just do it! When I was accepted onto the degree, I wondered what on earth someone like me was thinking signing up to a degree course. I felt like I was crazy and that I was bound to fail. 3 years on, I've left with a 1st class honours degree, a new found confidence and a whole new group of friends."

Colette Mawdsley, Dean of Higher Education at the Hugh Baird University Centre, commented on Catherine's achievement:- "I am extremely proud of what Catherine has achieved during her time with us. Her story is typical of many of the students who join us. Many think that getting a degree is something that is beyond them., but the teaching team here work extremely hard to support and help students to excel themselves. I wish Catherine luck with her journey and I know she will continue to do well."

The Business and Management courses at the Hugh Baird University Centre are approved by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). For more information please visit:- HughBaird.AC.UK or call:- 0151 353 4444.

A-Level students exceed expectations once again at Hugh Baird College's South Sefton Campus

HUGH Baird College students and staff at their 6th Form Centre were in a celebratory mood today after yet another impressive set of A-Level results. The College's A-Level pass rate has increased to 99% with an impressive 47% of students achieving grades A* to B and 75% of students achieving A* to C, with a perfect 100% pass rate in 17 out of 19 A-Level subjects on offer at the campus. Further to this an impressive 100% pass rate at BTEC was secured, with 72% of students achieving Distinction or Distinction.

Since Hugh Baird College took over the management of South Sefton 6th Form, in December 2017, the academic progress that students make has significantly improved. 2017 A-Level results placed the College within the 40th to 59th percentile nationally, using the nationally recognised and government endorsed progress methodology, Alps. The College is extremely pleased to report anticipated improvement that places the College within the top 10% of Colleges nationally for progress. In addition to this phenomenal achievement, the proportion of students who stay at the College and complete has also increased to an above national average of 97.8%.

Due to these excellent results, many students will now be progressing onto study higher education at some of the most prestigious universities in the country including:- London Imperial College, the University of Hull and the University of York. Alternatively, some students are progressing onto degree level apprenticeships or full time employment.

Amy Kelley, A-Level English Literature, Media and BTEC Art and Design student, said:- "My time at Hugh Baird College has been amazing, I've really enjoyed my time here at the South Sefton campus. The College has a whole has really enhanced my learning experience, my tutors have supported me every step of the way. Today I achieved A* A D* meaning I will be studying English Literature at Edge Hill University to 1 day become an English Literature Teacher."

Marcia Bakker, A-Level Psychology, Sociology and BTEC Applied Law student, said:- "When I left high School I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do next, my time at Hugh Baird College has really helped me to figure out what career path I want to take. At 1st I didn't see myself going to University and there was a time when I really didn't want to be in College, but my tutors have always supported me no matter what. My 2nd year was great and gave me opportunities which have strongly influenced my choices for the future. Now I've achieved A A D* and feeling extremely proud, my next step is to study Criminology and Psychology at Edge Hill University."

Jessica Lam, A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Psychology student, said:- "My journey studying my A-Levels has been a real roller coaster, at 1st I found the leap from GCSE to A-Levels very difficult. However, the support I received from not only staff, but the new friends I'd made was amazing. You are allowed to be independent, yet are supported when you need it the most. I am over the moon about my results, I achieved A* A* A and will be studying Medicine at Hull York Medical School."

Patrick McBride, A-Level Media, Drama and Theatre and BTEC Applied Law student, said:- "I loved my time at Hugh Baird College, every day felt like a new adventure. The creative freedom I was given when studying Media and Drama and Theatre was unbelievable, it really helped me develop my confidence in my own work and ideas. I wouldn't have achieved A B D* without the help and support from Daniel, my Teaching Assistant, who has been with me every step of the way. I can't wait to start studying LLB Law at Edge Hill University in September."

Joe Poole, Director of Curriculum at Hugh Baird College's 6th Form Centre, said:- "I'm absolutely delighted with our A-Level and BTEC results, once again students at the South Sefton campus of Hugh Baird College have excelled and they should be immensely proud of their achievements. I would like to thank the teaching staff and support staff at the South Sefton campus for their continued hard work, dedication and willingness to go above and beyond for our students. I would also like to congratulate our amazing students and wish them the very best of luck in their next steps."

For more information on A-Level courses or to apply to Hugh Baird College, please visit:- HughBaird.AC.UK or alternatively call:- 0151 353 4444.

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