A MUM-OF-THREE has been offered a place on a degree course after returning to study thanks to a new scheme offering people another way into higher education.
Wendy Barker, 36, from Kingsley, has secured a place to read for a degree in Contemporary Craft at Falmouth College of Arts, Cornwall, later this year.
She returned to studyonly last September when her youngest child started school, gaining the qualifications she needed by completing the New Horizons Access to Higher Education course in art and design at Mid-Cheshire College in Hartford.
Wendy said: 'I wanted to enrol on a course but was not sure what to do and because my husband was likely to be moving to a job in Cornwall I didn't want to spend too much on a course if I was not able to complete it.
'So when I discovered the New Horizons course, which only cost £10 and fitted in perfectly with my childcare arrangements, it was ideal.'
Wendy admitted the thought of going back to college was at first slightly daunting.
She said: 'Returning to study is not an easy thing to do as a mature student, but most people on this course are mature students who are also returning to the classroom.'
She added: 'I just can't believe how well things have worked out for us - my husband has got his new job in Cornwall and I have got a degree place there as well, it really has all fallen into place. If someone had told me a year ago that I would have a place on a degree course I would have laughed at them.'
Wendy, her husband Rob and their three children, Georgia, 12, Oliver, 10 and Saul, four, will re-locate to Cornwall in the next few months.
The course at Mid-Cheshire College has helped Wendy develop her artistic skills in a wide range of media including textiles, ceramics, 3D design and woodwork. The courses aim to give people over the age of 19 the necessary qualifications to gain a university place.The courses run on either a full or part-time basis, normally over a one-year period, and cover a variety of subjects.
Karen Rough, a course tutor, said she was delighted for Wendy. She said: 'There is a high percentage, about 75%, of people who complete the course who go on to higher education. Many decide to complete a foundation degree.'
The college has a full range of New Horizons courses available - for further information call the college on 01606 74444 or visit www.midchesh.ac.uk.