Myth Buster

I can't afford it

Although most higher education courses charge tuition fees, there is help available. There are tuition fee loans available to pay the course fees, and maintenance loans to help with living costs whilst you study your chosen course. The student loan system means you won't have to pay anything up front for your course, and you don't make repayments until you've completed your course and your earnings reach £21000 and above. For more information on student finance see our student finance pages.

I don't enjoy school

Higher Education is different to school in many ways, you get much more choice in terms of subjects, where, how and when you study. You are also given much more independence and the chance to take charge of your own learning. 

School Higher Education
You must study certain subjects You can choose exactly what, and how, you study
Lessons of no more than 30 pupils Lectures on larger courses can have up to 400 students in them
You will be set homework and reminded to complete it  You take ownership of your own learning and will not be reminded to study
You must go to school You choose to go to higher education (and we'd love it if you did)
School is free Most options incur a cost, although there is often financial help available

I am not academic or clever enough

There are lots of higher education options available to suit different learning styles and assessment preferences. You can choose purely academic study involving lectures and examinations, a mixture involving classroom based learning alongside practical learning, or purely learning through work with observations and portfolios forming the assessment. 

I can only study a higher education qualification at a university

You can study different higher education qualifications at different locations including some colleges. There is also the option to complete an apprenticeship which combines four days in the workplace with one day of study at a university or college. 

I can't earn money while I study a higher education qualification

There are a number of ways you can earn money whilst studying for your qualification. If you study a higher or degree apprenticeship youíll be paid a wage whilst you complete this. If you decide to study a qualification at a university of college you could work part time alongside your studies. Many institutions offer flexible working opportunities for their students in roles such as being a student ambassador or taking up flexible roles on campus. Many bars, restaurants and shops are also happy to employ students and offer flexible working hours that fit around their studies. In addition to the financial benefits of working, a part time job whilst studying can help build your CV. Some higher education courses give students the opportunity to take ëa year in industryí. This is when students take a year off from their studies to work full time in an area related to their course. This is also a great opportunity to build skills and experience, as well as having financial benefits. 

I would have to move away from home to study a higher education qualification

Studying a higher education qualification doesn't necessarily mean moving away from home. The North East has a wide range of higher education providersí right across the region, each providing a number of different options. You could chose to remain at home, and commute to your chosen place of study or you could move into halls at your institution. 

All higher education qualifications take 3 years to complete

Although it is true that some qualifications take three years to complete (some take even longer than this) some are much shorter e.g. foundation degrees, HNC and HND qualifications etc. Although some of these qualifications are only one year in length, they can be combined to lead to a full bachelorís degree qualification. 

There aren't jobs in the North East that require me to have a higher education qualification

It has been predicted that by the year 2022 half of all jobs will require a higher qualification, and although this statistic is nationwide there are many jobs in the North East that require a range of different higher education types. 
There are many sectors in the North East of England that are growing and developing, and will need a skilled workforce to carry them forward. These include:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Chemical Processing
  • Digital, creative and IT
  • Healthcare
  • Logistics
  • Financial, Professional & Business Services

Check the following website for more details on these.

I don't need to think about Higher Education until I'm 18

You can begin thinking about what you want from your future at any time - the earlier the better! It's a good idea to explore your higher education options early, as some paths may require you to choose certain subjects along the way in addition to having some specific work experience. Even if you aren't sure what career you would ultimately like to end up in it's a good idea to start thinking about it as early as possible.