Fears adult learners will miss out as University Of Hull award axed
MATURE students say adult education at the University Of Hull is under threat after it was forced to axe a popular award.
The Cottingham Road university has taken the decision to end what is known as the University Foundation Award (UFA).
The award gave mature students the chance to take courses at the Centre For Lifelong Learning, which would earn them credits enabling them to take a degree course.
From August, the UFA, which is delivered through the Centre For Lifelong Learning, will no longer be offered.
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Elaine Jackson, who has been studying creative writing, says she is concerned a like-for-like set of courses will not be offered.
She said: "I have been so grateful to have the opportunity to do this.
"It is just not right to have it taken away.
"People on the courses after me wanting to do these accredited courses won't be able to. Where are they going to go?
"I passionately believe the university and the chances it can offer should be for everybody, not just for the few."
Mrs Jackson says the UFA offered hope to people in Hull who did not get GCSEs or A-levels or those whose education was disrupted after having a family.
She told the Mail her accredited course would give her the chance to apply to take a degree at the university.
She said: "I got a couple of O-levels, then had a family of five and life was busy.
"I'm 54 now and I would not have had this chance.
"The opportunities the university offers are a whole different kettle of fish to others.
"If I was just going to do it willy-nilly, I would have done a night course or an Open University course."
University bosses say they are no longer able to offer the award because of changes in the way universities are
Previously, the University Of Hull would have funding from the Government which meant it was able to offer the courses at reduced cost.
However, that funding has now been stopped. Universities must now look to raise funds themselves, including charging £9,000 tuition fees for undergraduates.
Glen Burgess, pro-vice chancellor for teaching and learning at the University Of Hull, told the Mail the university was developing a different approach because the UFA was no longer financially viable.
He said: "There is a tendency for people to think the UFA is all the lifelong learning which is provided.
"We don't want to take away that opportunity or deny the accredited route to university.
"Mature students can still apply for a university degree as a direct route.
"Although very few of the UFA students progressed to degree level programmes, the university is committed to making sure there are appropriate access routes for adult learners wishing to return to education at university level."