Access to HE: January starts
1 December 2023
Why are January Starts important for colleges
January starts, also known as the ‘winter intake’, is a fantastic opportunity for Access to HE learners, who weren’t ready for the more popular intake in September, to begin their studies. The main advantage being that they don’t have to wait a whole year to start their course.
For AIM centres delivering our Access to HE Diplomas, it’s a further opportunity in which to top up on learner registrations and meet those all-important recruitment targets!
Access to Higher Education: a gateway to a brighter future!
As the New Year approaches, it's a time for new beginnings and fresh starts, and for many, that means pursuing higher education. Access to Higher Education (HE) Diplomas provide a valuable pathway to university study, enabling individuals without traditional qualifications, to embark on their academic journey.
Access to HE Diplomas are designed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed at university and are highly respected qualifications and acknowledged routes into higher education. These one-year courses cater to diverse interests and career aspirations, offering a variety of subject areas to choose from including: healthcare, social sciences, engineering, business and many more!
Why learners choose an Access to HE Diploma
- Flexible entry requirements: Unlike A-levels, which often require specific prior qualifications, Access to HE Diplomas typically have more flexible entry requirements, making them accessible to a wider range of learners.
- Academic preparation: Access to HE Diplomas provide a solid foundation in academic skills, including essay writing, research, and critical thinking, essential for success at university.
- Subject-specific knowledge: Learners gain in-depth knowledge in their chosen subject area, preparing them for the rigors of university-level study.
- Pathway to university degrees: Upon successful completion, learners can progress directly to a range of undergraduate degrees at universities across the UK.
Eligibility and application process
To be eligible for an Access to HE Diploma, learners typically need to have a basic level of literacy and numeracy and a genuine interest in pursuing higher education. The application process involves submitting an application form to an AIM centre, attending an interview, and providing relevant documentation.
Funding and support
Various funding options are available to support learners including government grants, scholarships and bursaries.
Advanced Learner Loans are a popular source of funding for Access to HE Diplomas as Student Finance England will ‘write off’ any outstanding loan balances owed for an Access to HE course once the learner has completed their higher education studies – meaning it doesn’t have to be repaid.
Additionally, many colleges and universities offer financial assistance and support services to ensure that financial constraints don't hinder a learners’ educational aspirations.
Making an Impact with AIM Access to HE
Access to HE Diplomas offer a transformative opportunity for individuals to unlock their potential and achieve their academic goals. With a strong focus on academic preparation and personalised guidance, these qualifications provide a stepping stone to a fulfilling future in higher education.
Learners studying an AIM Access to HE Diploma have the flexibility to choose from traditional classroom, online or blended delivery options. The Diplomas’ ability to provide flexibility for learners is the very reason why these courses have become so popular over the years. So it’s no wonder that centres have started offering two course intakes within the academic year.
2022-23 was a record-breaking year for AIM’s Access to HE offer as 7,400 learners, (more than at any point in our history), achieved Access to Higher Education Diplomas.
We would argue that Access to HE is one of the most impactful qualifications in the whole of the education and skills sector and we are sure our delivery providers would say the same!
AIM operates as the AVA for almost 100 Access to HE providers in the UK, making us one of the leading AVAs. Our 85 diploma titles offer qualifications across a broad range of skills sectors.