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Wirral Met College nominated for national Innovation Value Award for its commitment to pioneering alternative pathways into Higher Education for its learners

Open Awards, an awarding organisation and access-validating agency, has nominated the college for its innovative Access to Higher Education diplomas in Psychology and Mental Health, and Policing – developed alongside Merseyside Police and The College of Policing.

Designed to support those without the grades get in to university to pursue their dream careers, the year-long access diplomas are equivalent to three A-levels.

Bryony Mercer, who studied an Access to HE Psychology course at the College, is progressing to the University of Liverpool this September to study a BSc (Hons) Psychology Degree with aspirations to become a Psychology Doctorate or Clinical Psychologist.

Created to meet the demand of employers both locally and nationally, the diplomas are timetabled across two-to-three days per week and include both on-campus and online sessions.

Rachel Newman, Business Development Manager at the Open Awards said: “We have nominated the Wirral Met College for our Innovation Value Award for their collaborative project to create innovative Access to HE Diplomas in response to local and national demand.”

“Innovation is very important to us at Open Awards as one of our core values. This nomination acknowledges the College’s commitment to supporting local learners, who may not have achieved their desired grades, want to change careers, or are looking to upskill or retrain, helping them to progress to university and ultimately their dream job.”

Sue Higginson, Principal at Wirral Met College said: “We are delighted to have been nominated for this award.”

“Our Access to HE diplomas demonstrate our commitment to opening up access to education for all learners and giving people a real chance to follow their dreams.”

Louise Bailey joined Wirral Met College in 2014 as a mature student, with the aim of becoming an Integrated Practitioner. After completing GCSE qualifications in English, Maths and Science, Louise went on to study the Pre-Access to Health and Social Care course in 2015, followed by Access to HE Nursing and Allied Health Professions in 2016.

This summer Louise finished her Masters in Child Nursing and Social Work at Edge Hill University and said: “I’m really glad I made the decision to study at Wirral Met, they supported me every step of the way.”

“I gained invaluable skills such as essay writing and referencing, which gave me an advantage during my first assignments at university.”

Winners will be announced in September.

Applications are open for a September start and Student Advisers are available to help answer any questions about Access to Higher Education courses. Use the live chat feature online, call 0151 551 7777, or pop down to the HE Centre at the Twelve Quays Campus between 9am – 4pm on weekdays.