The above quote really sums up the learning experience as a mature student at Warwick. It’s eye opening and fun but it can also be challenging and emotional, and we can’t pretend the uncertainty and circumstances of the past 18 months have been easy for any of us. That said, as a Centre we have been able to adapt our teaching and support to ensure our cohort have been able to engage with their studies and be successful Warwick students.
Throughout the past year we have been able to offer both online and blended learning, which has given increased flexibility for those students with caring responsibilities or jobs because they’ve been able to access lectures when convenient to them; plus there are robust online resources and discussion forums to bolster their learning. All of this is alongside live seminars with our excellent tutor team who have been able to make the most of our online systems to create engaging and creative content.
When our students haven’t been able to engage with classes, due to sickness, self isolation, or home schooling, they have been offered one to one sessions with personal tutors, course directors, and their module tutors to help them stay on track along with wellbeing support.
In the Centre we recognise there is no right way to approach study as a mature learner each path is filled with individual experiences, challenges and rewards and this is why we have a dedicated Welfare Officer offering individual one to one wellbeing support to all of our students. The purpose is to be there when our students need unique support, focusing on their needs and experiences. The intention is to focus on listening, understanding and helping to solve whatever the presenting challenge may be for them at the time. This was also true during the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns where the support offered continued online or by telephone, and when able in person. Our Welfare Officer has been flexible, offering appointments at a time and in a format that works for the individual. In addition the University also has a wider wellbeing support team that includes mental health and disability advisers, counsellors as well as numerous helpful wellbeing online workshops.
As a Centre we have done our best to ensure everybody has been able to submit their work on time but equally we understand this hasn’t always been possible so we have systems in place to ensure everybody has a fair chance to complete their work to the best of their ability despite the current situation. Not only have we ensured students have had continued access to teaching and wellbeing support, but where possible, we have given our cohort extended time to complete their work and taken the individual circumstances of our students into consideration throughout the assessment process. The goal of everybody working at the Centre is the same as that of our students – we want you to be successful and we will work as a supportive community to enable you to do that.
We hope all of our students are able to look back on their time with us, pandemic or not, and say ‘It’s been a pleasure’.