Lancaster University

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It's Never Too Late To Learn

12/03/2007 15:30:49

Candys Hunter receives her PASSPORT award from Prof Derek Seward
Candys Hunter receives her PASSPORT award from Prof Derek Seward

A former textile worker who lost her job is fulfilling her lifetime ambition by going to Lancaster University – at the age of 50.

Candys Hunter, who lives on Moorgate in Lancaster, was made redundant from her job in a warehouse. So she enrolled on an Access to Higher Education course at Lancaster and Morecambe College and has just started a degree at Lancaster University.

She said: “I wish I’d done this years ago, but I had to leave school before I could do my A Levels. I got into manual jobs and it was my safety zone. Then when I lost my job, my mother said what are you going to do now? I joked that I’d go to university and she said about time!”

She is now taking a degree in environmental biology and would like to do research when she graduates.

Her confidence was boosted when she attended the PASSPORT to Higher Education programme this summer, organised by Lancaster University’s Department of Continuing Education.

PASSPORT offers students the opportunity to experience university life before they start their undergraduate course, and to gain an additional qualification.

Candys signed up for the PASSPORT programme as she wasn’t sure what to expect from university life and was concerned that she might not fit in. Now half way through her first term she says, “After taking the PASSPORT to HE programme I settled in straight away. They made me feel quite special and I’ve acclimatized to university no problem. I am confident about my work and I made lots of friends on PASSPORT who are now here at Lancaster University.”

She was one of several new undergraduates from Lancaster, Morecambe and Galgate who were among sixty students to receive Lancaster University awards after successfully completing the PASSPORT to Higher Education (HE) Programme this summer.

Some students join PASSPORT because they are worried that they won’t get the grades they need to get into university, while others are not confident that they have the skills they will need to succeed in HE. Through taking a range of academic and study skills courses with the PASSPORT programme, and living on campus, students can demonstrate that they are capable of studying at university level and build up their self-confidence.

According to Rory Daly, PASSPORT coordinator, “Many institutions, especially universities in the North West, recognise PASSPORT as a valid entry qualification alongside A Levels.”

PASSPORT is free for students from educationally and socially disadvantaged backgrounds, minority ethnic groups, students with disabilities and those whose educational achievement has suffered due to personal, family or health problems.

To find out more about PASSPORT call 01524 592622/44

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For more details about PASSPORT please visit