Students progressing to higher education at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) are heading to university.
The College offers a range of Higher National Certificate (HNC) and Higher National Diploma (HND) courses at both its Tottenham and Enfield Centres.
HNCs and HNDs are a great stepping stone to university and can be topped up with one or two years’ extra study to a full bachelor’s degree.
These courses are £5,787 a year compared to £9,250 a year by many universities, making this route to a degree much more affordable.
Cyrene Gray, 19, is set to study a BA (Hons) in Popular Music at Middlesex University after completing an HNC in Music Production at CONEL this year.
She stayed at the College after studying for a Music Technology Diploma at Level 3, which is the equivalent of three A-levels and accepted by many universities.
Cyrene said: “I wasn’t sure I was quite ready for university yet, and wanted to make sure I would be comfortable with the work at that level without committing myself to a degree for three years.
“I wanted to come back because I enjoyed my time at CONEL and I’d made a lot of friends. The teachers were also really supportive and helped me a lot because I have dyslexia.”
“When they gave us a piece of work they explained it well and made it easy to understand.”
Cyrene has always had a passion for creating music and hopes to be a recording artiste or producer when she finished university.
“I love performing and writing my own music. It gives me a chance to tell my story and express myself and come up with different interpretations of songs,” she said.
“The Level 3 was very practical and the Level 4 taught me more about running a music business, which will give me a good start on my university course.”
Miranda Blanks, 22, decided to stay at CONEL to study an HNC in Public Services after completing a Level 3 Diploma in the subject.
“I did not want to go to university as I wanted to continue studying Public Services,” she said.
“I like the way they teach at college. It’s much more practical and interactive and you get hands on experience and work placements – I find that a much better way of learning.
“The tutors always go above and beyond, and I‘ve got so much out of being here. The experience I’ve had at CONEL has been amazing and is enough to make anyone come back.”
Miranda hopes to continue onto her HND next year and then go on to university and study a degree to enable her to fulfil her dream of becoming a paramedic.
Higher Education course fees can be paid in easily manageable instalments or with a student loan, which you do not have to pay back until you earn more than £25,000 a year.