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Assistant Director for HE - The future of Higher Education

Tuesday 26 May 2020

What does the future of Higher Education hold? Selby College’s Assistant Director of Higher Education explains

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Universities across the UK are assessing whether they can return to the classroom for the next academic year or if they have no choice but to continue online learning.

According to Stephen Mulligan, Assistant Director for Higher Education at Selby College, this uncertainty could leave students wondering whether they should pursue Higher Education or if it is the right time to do so. While things may seem unclear now, the one thing that is certain is that Higher Education can open doors for people from all walks of life.

By gaining a Higher Education qualification, this can not only improve a person’s skills and confidence, but widen their horizons by increasing the range and level of career opportunities that are available to them

“As we move into the third month of lockdown, now may be the time where people begin to consider a career change or upskilling themselves to increase their employability. In addition to their own personal and career progression, this will also help in reducing the skills gaps in professions such as nursing and engineering, as well as supplement a more highly skilled workforce to better position the UK in its recovery from the pandemic – and beyond. Many people may find themselves out of work, and this may be the perfect opportunity to consider going back into education. Many courses on offer are flexible in that you can study part-time alongside working.”

In light of the current situation, the University of Cambridge has announced it will carry out all lectures online-only for the academic year 2020-2021. With other Universities likely to follow suit, students who were hoping to move away to University to gain the full campus experience may now decide that this is no longer an option, particularly given the relatively high fees.

According to the Student Hut’s most recent coronavirus survey, 87% of students are currently living with their parents during the lockdown and they are the group of students who feel most comfortable with their current living arrangements[1].

As a result of this, students may consider carrying out their studies closer to home or choosing to enrol on Higher Education courses at a College. Thousands of students are now opting to carry out their degrees at local institutes, as opposed to traditional universities.

“Following the pandemic, the future of Higher Education and where and how it is delivered will inevitably evolve. Despite this, I would like to reassure prospective students that all hope isn’t lost - at Selby College, we have a number of Higher Education programmes that can fit around your lifestyle or career aspirations. We offer a friendly supportive environment with small group sizes and real sense of community when it comes to your studies and your individual needs – enabling students to go on to find fulfilling careers. We will be enabling students to work online where possible but will also have the opportunity to work on-site safely taking into account all of the latest government guidelines on social distancing.”

We offer courses from Business and Early Childhood Studies to Computing and Engineering. They range from Access Courses if you don’t have the necessary qualifications to go straight on to a degree, right up to full honours degrees. The qualifications are awarded by the University of Hull, the University of Huddersfield and Pearson and culminate with a prestigious Graduation ceremony at Selby Abbey in the autumn.

Student Hut, 2020

Steve Mulligan Assisant Director of Higher Education