Aspire to HE for Older Learners

Aspire to HE for Older Learners


Aspire to HE for Older Learners

supports people who have not considered moving to higher education for a range of reasons, either by staying on at college or progressing to University. There are many real and perceived barriers that prevent older learners from progressing to higher studies but often these barriers can be easily removed through information, support on specific issues or by speaking to someone who has reached their career goal by taking the step to progress to HE.  

What is it about?

Aspire to HE for Older Learners is available to:

  • people over the age of 19 who are studying at Walsall, Wolverhampton, Halesowen, Sandwell, Dudley and Telford Colleges.
  • are on a pathway to higher education such as Access to HE courses, A level studies, BTEC or professional courses or who already have level 3 (or equivalent qualifications) and have not progressed or are currently completing Maths and English.
  • live in eligible postcodes where people are less likely to go onto higher education.

We want to help you make an informed decision about whether it is right for you or the steps you need to take to reach your career or personal goal. We want to help people who would like to progress to HE but are worried that they can’t do it. With our help you can choose to make the ambitious decision to follow your dream if you wish to go into a career that requires higher education or higher level studies.


We provide a range of supportive interventions to help break down these barriers such as clear information, talks with experts such as course advisors about what HE study entails or chats with others who have already succeeded and know what the journey is like.


We assist with the key decisions that need to be made and provide clear information to help you. All of these can be done from your home.


Once we are safe to leave the house, we can support with face to face meetings, specialist talks, meet the experts, and HE Experience Visits to University for taster sessions, or specialist information on costs, travel being a student and workload. Normally, we attend all the listed colleges regularly so you can meet us there or in one of your classes.

Aspire to HE for Older Learners is run by the Centre for Lifelong Learning who are experts in the needs of older learners.


Some of the common barriers for older learners include:

  • Thinking you can’t do it or you are not clever enough
  • Thinking that you don’t have the right qualifications to take the next step
  • Fears about the costs
  • Worries about the effects on your family
  • Not understanding the system and the differences between your previous studies and HE
  • Having no role models or family members who have gone to HE
  • Health or disabilities that might affect your ability to succeed or access to HE

If you can relate to any of the points above or have other concerns then please get in touch with the team by emailing:

Patience Mudavanhu, Aspire to HE Engagement Officer - Older Learners: 

University Centre Telford

Level 3, Southwater Building

Telford, TF3 4JG