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17 October 2005 PR 05/98

Mature students aim to encourage others to consider university

Matt Kellett and Nicola Ball, two mature undergraduate students who live in Loughborough, are encouraging others to find out more about studying for a degree at a special open day being held at Loughborough University.

The Mature Students’ Open Day, on Wednesday 2 November, will provide anyone interested in higher education with the opportunity to look around the University campus, meet current students, and find out about the courses on offer.

“I’m thoroughly enjoying my time as a student. Going to university was definitely the right decision for me,” says Nicola, who began her degree in English at Loughborough University at the age of 35 and is now in her second year. “It can be hard work, especially having two children and one who isn’t at school yet, but it’s really rewarding, and I’d certainly encourage anyone who was considering it to at least find out more.”

Matt, who was 21 when he started at the University, admits to being cautious initially but has found the experience really worthwhile. “When I first thought about going into higher education I was a little dubious about the prospect of making friends and getting along with those younger than me. I wasn’t sure whether the age differences would cause any issues or not.

“But since being at Loughborough University I’ve come to realise that isn’t the case. Sure it can be difficult at times but then everything we do in life can be difficult sometimes, but there’s the support infrastructure to help solve any issues that may arise, from child support right through to learning support. I’d definitely suggest that anyone who is considering it should find out more – the experience gained from it alone is worth it.”

The term ‘mature student’ is used to describe anyone aged 21 or over when they start university and, as Widening Participation Officer Kay Bridger explains, these students typically have very different issues about studying for a degree to those of other undergraduates.

“Considering whether to return to education, especially if you’ve been away from it for a while, can be a big decision. Mature students tend to be more cautious – they not only have to think about how it’s going affect them personally, but also often have to consider the impact it could have on their family, their financial situation and any other commitments they have,” says Kay.

The Open Day will provide potential students with the chance to find out about a range of topics, such as likely entry requirements, how to apply, how the teaching is structured, and the kinds of support available.

Anyone interested in attending the Open Day, which is running from 10am to 2pm, should contact Diana Streeton on 01509 222488 to book a place.

Further information on being a mature student at Loughborough is available at www.lboro.ac.uk/admin/ar/admissions/wp/mature/index.htm

– Ends –

For further information contact:

Hannah Baldwin, Head of PR, Loughborough University,
T: 01509 222239, E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

Notes to editors

  1. From 2006, following the introduction of higher tuition fees, Loughborough University will be offering a range of means-tested maintenance bursaries, of up to £2,600 a year, depending on residual income, to those aged over 21 on entry. These one hundred per cent cash bursaries, with no ‘in-kind’ element, are intended to help with students’ living expenses. When coupled with the Government grant, of up to £2,700 a year, this will provide a maintenance package of up to £5,300 per annum, which students will not have to repay.

  2. Loughborough University also offers starter bursaries of up to £1,250 to local mature students. These awards are made possible by the Access to Learning Fund and are intended to help mature students deal with the financial challenges that they face when adjusting to full-time study at degree level.

  3. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place Loughborough in the top flight of UK universities. The National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students, and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough's income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded four Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; and for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.

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