Posted 2 June 2006
HARPER Adams University College has a 90 per cent success rate on their further education courses, it has been revealed.
The prestigious Shropshire-based university college is not only the UK’s leading provider for higher education courses for the land-based sector but has also offered a successful further education course for more than 30-years.
The University Access Course, established in 1971, has consistently enabled students to out-perform many of their A-Level counterparts and successfully complete higher education courses.
Ninety per cent of students who completed the end of the course passed and picked up the 'ticket' to enter higher education establishments across the UK.
Commenting on the course, Nicky Hunter, Access Course Manager, said: “For some students, the traditional two year A-Level route is not appropriate.
“Although the introduction of applied vocational qualifications has offered a more practical route into careers for some 16 and 17 years olds, the University Access Course provides an academic opportunity to study with the benefit of tailoring the subjects to the students’ interests.
“While we have only a small further education provision of approximately 60 students per year, the course still maintains the high standards we expect from a university education system.”
As with other courses, strict Quality Assurance standards are applied to the further education provision at Harper Adams – with students adhering to rigorous coursework deadlines and strict penalties for plagiarism.
And with such a high success rate, many students who were underachieving and unhappy with their school experience, blossom at Harper Adams.
“We believe it is not only the applied nature of the course but the supportive and coherent nature of the programme which motivates and inspires students.
“Most Access students live on site and the friendly, family-like atmosphere is commented on by parents, students and our external examiners. It is not an easy transition from home to college but the support from fellow students and our student services helps them adjust and mature.
“The excellent higher education facilities, social amenities and rural location of the university college also provide an environment in which the students thrive and develop.
“The course philosophy of ‘You can do it’ instils a belief that students can achieve their goals if they are really motivated and whilst the Access Course is not on its own in this respect, it has provided a very successful alternative route for many thousands of students into higher education,” Mrs Hunter added.
Students who have completed the access course are very positive about their experience as they develop the disciplines and skills needed for higher level study. Maeve Moran, from West Port, County Mayo, joined Harper Adams on the Access course from which she progressed to graduate with BSc (Hons) in Agriculture with Animal Science.
During her studies, Maeve won several awards and prizes, including the Victor Truesdale Prize in recognition of her outstanding achievements at Harper Adams.
“I had a really great time at Harper Adams. The Access course was the best year for me at Harper as it really gave me confidence in myself.
“I have met so many people who will be friends for life and I will keep in touch with these people through Harper Adams in Ireland and The Harper Adams Club.”
Progression and performance in higher education is very high at Harper Adams and it is well recognised that the majority of students continue to excel as a result of their experience on the course.
In recognition of its excellent teaching, the university college has been named a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) by Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
The centre, Aspire (Advancing Skills for Professionals in the Rural Economy), officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal on May 8th, promotes excellence in teaching and learning in further and higher education.