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Love West Norfolk: University Centre West Anglia was such an education

Written by Nicola Wardle, graduate from the University Centre West Anglia

The University Centre West Anglia is based at the College of West Anglia and delivers degrees in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University.

UcWA’s education-related degrees, alongside ARU have been ranked No1 in the UK in the Guardian University Guide League Table.

Nicola Wardle
Nicola Wardle

The degree programme has scored 100 per cent student satisfaction on the Guardian National Student Survey for the last four years running, while 85 per cent of those who graduated this year have achieved a 2:1 or above. It’s clear that our students think the college is a reason to #lovewestnorfolk.

UcWA alumna, Nicola Wardle, returned to studying after working as teaching assistant, first completing a foundation degree and progressing onto a BA (Hons) Degree in Early Childhood Studies, graduating with a first-class honours degree in 2019. She now works as a primary school teacher in the local area.

“After many years of working as a teaching assistant and later a higher level teaching assistant, I decided to further my education and career options.

"In 2016, I enrolled at the University Centre of West Anglia, an affiliation of Anglia Ruskin University, to study for foundation degree in Early Years and Education.

"Anglia Ruskin University was my first choice as it had been highly recommended by several colleagues. I enrolled as a mature student, with a family, so accessibility and reputation were important factors when deciding where to study.

“Naturally, I was extremely nervous about the prospect of returning to study especially as I was a mature student. I had preconceived ideas of being surrounded by students that were not much older than my own children.

"However, this was not the case. There were students of all ages, many of whom were returning to education later in life.

“I can honestly say that the quality of teaching was exceptional. The tutors are extremely skilled, knowledgeable and approachable. An ethos of support and respect was established early on and was maintained throughout the period of study.

"As a result, students of all ages worked together and supported each other throughout the period of study. The faith and belief bestowed upon me by my course tutors boosted my self-confidence and inspired me to continue my studies.

"In 2019, I gained a First-Class BA (Hons) degree in Early Childhood Studies and in the same year completed qualified teacher status. My tutors have kept in contact at every step and milestone of my journey. They have been truly inspirational!

“My family, especially my children, have been incredibly understanding and supportive throughout my journey. Gaining my degree has inspired and given them the confidence to access higher education.

"I have also been extremely fortunate to work in a school where continued professional development is encouraged and celebrated. The headteacher, Matthew Try, and my colleagues have provided me with support throughout my degree.

“My degree has improved my life in many ways, most importantly by enabling me to fulfil my dreams and aspirations of becoming a teacher. I now have a full-time career working as a KS2 Teacher- a job I truly love.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about the full range of degrees on offer, you can register now for virtual open days from the end of October at www.ucwa.ac.uk/virtualcwa

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