USP College is an experienced provider of education, training and support for adults, and is passionate about helping them achieve their ambitions. To help adults in the local area pursue their goal of attending university, the college runs a number of Access to Higher Education (HE) courses. Successful students from USP College are now on their way to becoming qualified in a variety of professions including nursing, midwifery, social work, law, business, criminology, humanities and teaching. Programme Manager for Access to HE, Tracey Page, says that the Access to HE course is excellent preparation for these students.

The students do keep in touch. Some are actually in the middle of their degrees now and both they, and their higher education institutions, are giving very positive feedback about how well the Access course has prepared them.

Tracey Page, Programme Coordinator, USP College

In fact, the feedback the college receives from its Access to HE students demonstrates that they feel confident that they have developed the skills and confidence they need to be successful in Higher Education – even when compared to those who have taken a more traditional route.

Those going with A-Levels are unlikely to have developed skills that are specific to HE whereas that's an integral part of the pathway that we offer. We teach them the academic skills, how to reference, research and brush up their English and maths skills. They find that the embedding of skills is hugely important in preparing them for HE study.

Tracey Page, Programme Coordinator for Access to HE, USP College

Whilst their primary motivation is to offer opportunities for students to research their career aims, USP College also recognise that Access to HE provides an alternative income stream for the college. The flexibility of the Gateway Qualifications Access to HE Diplomas, and the capacity to create tailor-made pathways from a catalogue of units mean that the college can meet both the needs of their students and create a financially viable set of courses.

(Gateway Qualifications) has been incredibly flexible in allowing me to select units and create pathways. This means that I co-teach certain units across pathways meaning my staffing costs are reduced, making it more financially viable to run.

Tracey Page, Programme Coordinator for Access to HE, USP College

All this leaves USP College with happy and successful Access to HE students, 100% of their Access to HE students would recommend USP College and 91% of their Access to HE students who apply to university secure a place.