“This time last year I was working full-time as a care assistant – and now I’m on the way to achieving my dream of becoming a nurse!” says 20-year-old Ruqia Bi.
Caring for her mum after leaving school made Ruqia realise that she wanted to become a nurse and, as she didn’t have the required grades to apply to university, she signed up for a one-year Access to Higher Education (health pathway) diploma to bridge the gap between her existing qualifications and those needed to study at degree level.
And – just five months after starting the course – Ruqia has had offers from Birmingham City University, Staffordshire University, the University of Bedfordshire and the University of Wolverhampton to study for a BSc (Hons) in adult nursing, as well as an additional offer from the University of Wolverhampton to do a four-year MSc in nursing.
Ruqia, who lives in Birmingham, added: “Although it’s a lot of travelling I chose to come to Wolverhampton as I needed to improved my maths grade and have been able to do Level 2 maths functional skills (equivalent to a GCSE grade C) alongside the Access course.
“The course is hard work but the tutors are really supportive and staff from the Aspire to HE team and careers adviser helped me immensely with my personal statement for my UCAS application – I would never have been able to do it without them and everyone who wants to go to university should take advantage of the service they offer.
“If you left school without the qualifications you need to go to university, don’t let it get you down – keep motivated and you’ll find a way to get where you want to be. I did and I can’t believe I’m finally going to become a nurse!”