Matthew Long is in his second year on the 2+2 Degree Pathway and here he shares his experience of returning to study with CLL…
In 2019, I found myself in somewhat of a dry spell within my career aspirations and progression as a singer. I was unsure what to do for the best, but I knew that I had a desire for change. One night whilst scrolling through Facebook I came across the Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL) at the University of Warwick. I was immediately struck by the emphasis within the centre on life experience rather than traditional qualifications. I read further and was keen to learn more about the course, so I applied to attend an ‘Open Door Session’. By a rather fitting coincidence, I was at Warwick Castle on the day I heard back. Little did I know then what an exciting adventure I was about to embark on. I grew more confident in the opportunity with every step – the application process ran smoothly, giving a positive and reassuring first impression, leading to what has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made – and I wholeheartedly recommend pursuing a degree with the University of Warwick.
If you have been out of education for a long time – don’t worry – I had been out of education for 14 years; but whether it’s been a couple of years or several decades, it does not matter. The course is an excellent opportunity to open new doors of opportunity, expand your horizons and make lots of new friends and colleagues along the way. The journey may come with some bumps, twists and turns along the way, but I can assure you that it is well worth it. The resources available at the University of Warwick are excellent – there are ample bursary awards and several funding options available. Applying for a student loan is straight forward and the student finance team at Warwick are there to help if you need assistance.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a number of challenges for students, not least getting used to the routine of learning from home; but this proved to be another way in which the University of Warwick excelled – giving grants to eligible students to cover the cost of a new laptop to support their home studies. The first two years spent at a partner college are a very rewarding way to build your confidence, forge new friendships and get back into the flow of education. I was honestly very worried about the idea of getting back into education (as near as the weekend before I started!) – but, I can say without hesitation that I am so glad I fought through the fear. The tutors are a delight – knowledgeable, friendly and they really do care about your academic, personal and professional growth as a student. So, if you’ve been considering a new path for a long time, then all I need offer you is three words – go for it! Send the lovely staff at CLL an email or give them call – it could turn out to be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made!