Were it not for the availability of the ‘access to higher education’ course at Chesterfield College I, like many other mature students, would have been denied the opportunity to undertake a degree at university.
Without having completed this valuable course of education and the excellent teaching staff at Chesterfield College my confidence would have remained at a low level and I would never have been able to improve my employment prospects and find a half decent job. Without having had the real experience of university life, it is also likely that I probably would not have given my children the belief that university is a realistic goal for ordinary working people.
During my time at Chesterfield College it became very clear that the success of my fellow students was due to the excellent quality of teaching there, the availability of one to one support, and small class sizes.
I understand that there is a wealth of research to support the idea that most students value the quality of teaching above the aesthetic quality of their surroundings.
I therefore find it inconceivable that rather than recognising the excellent work of staff and the positive impact their work has had upon thousands of students for many years, plans are afoot to sack 80 staff at Chesterfield College whilst millions of pounds are to be spent on modernising the building. Not only that, the ‘access’ course is to be snatched away from mature students and I have no doubt that other devastating changes will be in the pipeline.
I know there are many students like me who oppose these changes and I would encourage them to make their voices heard. I would also like to express my thanks to all staff at Chesterfield College (not just the lecturers) because were it not due to their hard work and professionalism, many people would be unemployed, very depressed or worse.