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Is higher education for me?

Isn't it just like doing extra years at college?
No - even if you take a higher education course in your own college the experience will be different. The working week and year, type of work and assignments, facilities, social life and wider experiences and opportunities available will be different - most people find them much better than those available in further education.

Am I clever enough?
If you are taking, or have completed, a level 3 course and passed your assignments, the answer is yes. If you can achieve the entrance qualifications for a higher level course you are capable of succeeding on it.

Is it really hard work?
Obviously you will have to work to succeed, but you will be studying something you really enjoy and which offers you great future prospects, alongside others who want to do well. Many students say that their advanced level qualification was more pressured than their university course. The ability to organise and plan your own work is important, and there is plenty of help available to higher education students should they need it.

Isn't it expensive?
It isn't free, but you won't have to find any money 'up front' and there is plenty of financial help available. It's important to consider the long term financial benefits as well.

I need to have some paid employment - does this mean I can't take a higher level course?
No. Even full time higher education courses offer plenty of opportunity for part-time work to be fitted in, and there are long holidays when full time work may be possible. There is an increasing number of part-time higher education courses as well, and some even offer distance learning, so this may not be a problem.

How do I know I'll like it? Nobody in my family has been in higher education.
It doesn't matter. Not so long ago only 10 per cent of people went to university and before long 50 per cent are expected to go, so there are plenty of people in that position. Go to open days and events, or talk to an existing student and find out what it's like. Very few people regret going into higher education - many regret not having gone when they had the opportunity.

Can I think about it and go later?
Yes, if you don't feel ready. Many people who missed out apply to university as mature students - it's never too late. However, the experience will be different and it can be a more difficult decision to make once you are settled in a job. The important thing is to make an informed choice and not dismiss the higher education route. Make sure you look into it whilst you have the opportunity to go on visits and get information and support, and then make your decision using that information.

I need help!
Contact the Higher Futures adviser in your nearest college or university.
Contact your Higher Futures adviser >