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University lecture theatre

Stability and confidence are key in the academic world. But these things are virtually impossible to guarantee during a pandemic, and it's clear that UK universities will need considerable time to adapt to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. How can you expect to thrive in your educational journey without the assurance of your tutors? Without interacting with your peers? Without a clear sense of direction?

The truth is that the future of universities and higher academic culture remains very, very unclear. Once the coronavirus is firmly under control, will we see a return to normality? Will campus-based university education continue to be the mainstream educational model? Or will universities recognise the far-reaching benefits of home learning and restructure their courses to include face-to-face elements only where necessary?

Our money is on the latter.

 

The problem facing universities

You don't have to look too hard to notice the long-term uncertainty that's looming over the university establishment. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Universities UK lobbied the UK government for 'a transformation fund to support universities' during the next 2 to 3 years. Quite clearly, the higher education sector in this country is due to undergo a massive infrastructural transformation that's likely to last at least the length of a degree itself.

The unavoidable consequence of this is an inevitable crushing impact on the educational experiences of the next generation's students. The Times also offers some highly concerning statistics, noting that (according to data from CV-Library) graduate job openings are already down 60% on last year, and even non-graduate job opportunities have 'plummeted'. Why go to university if you can't be reasonably sure of getting a job at the end of it?

The Resolution Foundation think tank also reminds us that 800,000 young people have left full-time education since the onset of the pandemic. What lies in store for their futures? How are they supposed to navigate a crumbling job market and a recession when the usual order of things has been turned on its head?

As if this all weren't bad enough, the Financial Times has questioned whether universities will be able to support themselves financially, predicting 'extreme pressure on universities' and 'significant restructuring' to come. This is due in part to the 'sharp decline of international students' and school leavers hesitating in the face of the 'uncertain value of the education they may receive'.

Troubling? Certainly. But is this the case for all educational institutions? Absolutely not.

 

How we've overcome this challenge

Fortunately, Access Training has already adapted to the problems posed by COVID-19. We now offer hybrid-style courses that integrate online teaching with essential practical training.

By having the foresight to make a swift departure from the traditional methods of teaching upheld by universities and colleges, we have already ensured that working systems are in place to offer an overwhelmingly positive learning experience - just read our reviews!

The FT also offers the following astute prediction:

"The aftermath of coronavirus will both accelerate existing trends and provide an opportunity to rethink the nature of education and the ways it is delivered to make it more accessible, affordable, and relevant for the challenges of the coming decades."

At Access Training, we firmly believe that the educational path we offer is a nod to this new future of learning. We have taken the opportunity to refocus our educational model to ensure massive advantages to our student audience, and we've found the winning formula - we now reach many more students than before, we're using the most direct and efficient teaching methods around, and satisfaction levels are skyrocketing.

A course of us will guarantee you stability in a time of uncertainty, and opportunities in a world of dead ends. So why go to university? Enquire for a course today.

Browse Our Trade Training Courses

Photo from Pixabay

Late last week, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the government would drop a Tony Blair-era target of 50% of young people going to university.

In a speech that stressed the need for more vocational training, Williamson said that Britain's education system was guilty of ignoring the "forgotten 50% who choose another path", referring to those who didn't go to university.

Fork in the road leading in two directions

Photo from Pixabay

He also described the need for a major overhaul of this country's approach to training, including courses in the trades and construction where skills shortages continue to occur. The UK is currently in desperate need of plumbers, electricians, gas engineers and carpenters, and many people would prefer to learn these useful skills than go to university for a degree they may not even use.

 

"Education can open the door to better prospects and transform lives," said Williamson.

With reference to those who felt passed over, the Education Secretary said: "I don't accept this absurd mantra, that if you are not part of the 50% of young people who go to university that you've somehow come up short. You have become one of the forgotten 50% who choose another path."

If you are one of those who was forgotten during the past 20 years, we at Access Training are here to help you get the professional qualifications and training you deserve, for the career you've always wanted. Talk to us about our courses that, even during this difficult period, have produced thousands of qualified tradespeople - despite the prevailing narrative that university education is the only route to a successful ​career. This way of thinking is plainly wrong, as evidenced by all the success stories our training courses have produced.

Contact Access Training   Why Choose Our Courses?

Mr Williamson continued: "It exasperates me that there is still an in-built snobbishness about 'higher' being somehow better than 'further', when really they are just different paths to fulfilling and skilled employment."

This university target was described as being a target for the sake of a target, not one with any special purpose. Training should always focus on working towards high-quality qualifications and meeting the requirements set by employers. This is what Access Training Academies have successfully been providing for adult students for the past 13 years.

Adult career changers need a high-quality set of choices, with a clear line of sight to the career they want, at any stage of life should they want to pursue it.

"University should never have been regarded as the silver bullet for everyone and everything," said Williamson. We at Access Training wholeheartedly agree. There are so many opportunities for adult learners to get into the trades; they just need the right bespoke course to help them achieve this.

In short, there is a need for a revolution, and change is long overdue. Education's purpose is to unlock an individual's potential so that they can get the job they want. "If it fails to do that, then education itself has let them down," said Williamson. "Today, I have laid down a marker for change. A commitment to stand for the forgotten 50%."

If you didn't go to university, or if your choices for a new career seem limited, contact Access Training and we will help you to find a pathway to a successful career within the trade of your choosing.

Browse Our Trade Courses

Learn your trade. Get qualified. Make it happen.

Alternative to University

Throughout your school life, it may seem as though teachers, family, and peers are all encouraging you to take a certain path that you may not necessarily think is the best fit for you. If you are looking for an alternative to university, training courses from Access Training may be exactly what you are looking for.

Access Training allows you to become trained in a number of different professions, including electrical, plumbing, carpentry, IT professional skills and so much more. Our extensive range of courses means that there is something for everyone. To look through all our courses and find one that suits you, just click here. Our courses are perfect for beginners just starting out who are looking for an alternative to university, and we are here to help you every step of the way. 

Like university, we want to prepare you for your future career and our accredited courses produce qualifications that will allow you to start on the path towards that chosen career. 

Training Course to Fit Your Life

Access Training Courses

Rather than spending 3 to 4 years in university, our courses are an alternative which is designed to help you achieve the appropriate qualifications in a much shorter timeframe. Getting trained up in this short amount of time means that you will be able to start earning through your new trade as soon as possible. 

Courses That Fit Around Your Lifestyle

We know the price of going to university often puts off potential students, and the idea of living in debt is a daunting thing to face - particularly at 18 years old. This is why we allow you to relieve yourself of the financial pressure of a training course with a finance scheme. Our finance scheme means you can spread the cost of the course over a period of time that can be up to 60 months. Through this scheme, can rest assured that paying for your training will be a simple, stress-free process.

Our flexible courses can also be tailored around your availability as we understand that sometimes family, job and other life commitments can get in the way - but we won’t let this put you off gaining further education. If you have the motivation to be trained in a trade, we will find a way to let you complete a course.

If you would like to discuss your alternatives to university and what course would best suit your interests, do not hesitate to get in touch. Our expert team is here to help you get the most out of our courses, so call us on 0800 345 7492 to speak to one of our advisors today.