With many universities charging the maximum £9,250 tuition fees, some young people find their choices are narrowed by financial fears, in particular tuition fee debt.
However, more and more young people are shopping around and considering local higher education colleges to get a degree without the high tuition costs, and to make savings on expensive accommodation.
University Centre study was the business for Shauna
Shauna Campbell, 22, from Up Holland, studied Level 3 Business gaining a triple Distinction star at Wigan & Leigh College.
She went on to study HNC/HND Business and then a top-up degree at the University Centre Wigan & Leigh College, to achieve a first-class BA (Hons) in Business Administration.
During her degree study she worked with the Greater Manchester (GM) Higher team, as a student ambassador and is now working there full-time as a graduate advisor.
“One of the highlights of my degree study was working with GM Higher,” she said.
“I grew my skill set and gained in confidence. And, of course, I was thrilled to achieve a first-class degree.”
What is a university centre?
University centres offer students the chance to study higher education qualifications on their doorstep.
At the University Centre Wigan & Leigh College there are more than 30 courses and career pathways. And smaller class sizes mean students have more contact time with tutors.
Higher level and degree courses are £7,500 or less, making learning locally not just a convenient option, but a cost-effective one too.
Figures published by the Department for Education show that graduates continue to earn higher salaries than those who choose not to go to university. So investing in higher education remains cost effective, with the median salary for working age graduates £10,000 more than non-graduates.
Tourism management course leads to career take off
Alannah Mulligan, 20, from Wigan, gained her British Airways wings and became cabin crew after studying the HNC Travel and Tourism Management course. She says she was well prepared for the travel industry.
“Modules on the HNC are designed to be industry specific and really helped me to understand the skills needed to succeed,” she said.
“The tutors have lots of experience and were really supportive. The course helped me to become fully prepared for my career choice.”
Find out more
The University Centre offers a range of qualifications for full and part-time students.
Course areas include business management, creative industries and new media, education, STEM subjects and health and social care.
With millions of pounds invested in new facilities, resources and equipment, now is the perfect time to take the next step in your higher education journey.
Apply now or visit the Higher Education Advice and Enrolment event on Tuesday 27 August, 2-7pm at Parsons Walk Centre, Wigan.