Age is no barrier to education and the University of Leicester is keen to get this message across to people in Leicestershire and the surrounding counties.
The popular image of universities is of young people, but there are increasing numbers of mature students enrolling for courses, from short-term evening classes to part-time and full-time degree programmes.
For those who may be tempted by the idea but daunted by the thought of going back to study, the University is holding a Lifelong Learning Information Session on Tuesday 16 November. Prospective mature students can visit the University, meet lecturers, members of the Mature Students' Association and the University's Welfare Office, and obtain information on courses, application processes, finance, and one-to-one advice on juggling the demands of family and academic work.
Jean Baxter, a University Welfare Officer and a former mature student of the University herself said: "Finance is a major worry for mature students, particularly those following degree level courses. Full time students are concerned about the new government loans and need realistic information about how the loans are repaid.
"Part time study can also be costly but students may be able to receive some financial assistance with fees and study costs through a government scheme administered by the University.
"All UK students on degree level courses are eligible for these government funds. They can make a real difference, particularly with major costs like childcare and travel.
"Older students also worry about studying at this level, thinking they might fall behind the 'smart' A Level students. In fact it is usually mature students who have a very firm commitment to their studies and who find it almost impossible to keep quiet in tutorials! Although older students may have family or work commitments to contend with, at least they are not re-inventing themselves and their social networks or training themselves to wake up in the morning without being hauled out of bed! Older students also have good time management skills - it is easy to forget the pluses of being older."
Jean concluded: "I loved my three years here as a student and feel quite envious when I see new mature students starting out. And when I'm asked 'was it worth it?' I have to answer with a resounding Yes".
Further information is available from Jacky Wetzig, Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 252 2674, facsimile 0116 252 2447, email email@example.com
The Information Session will be held on the second floor of the Charles Wilson Building on the University campus, and free creche facilities will be provided nearby for children under school age. The nearest car parks are on Victoria Park, the NCP car park near Safeway Supermarket and at the Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College next to the University.
Note for editors: The Lifelong Learning Information Session will take place on Tuesday 16 November 1999, from 1.30-3.15 pm. For further details please contact Jacky Wetzig, Schools and Colleges Liaison Officer, University of Leicester, telephone 0116 252 2674, facsimile 0116 252 2447, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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