From Pandemic to Academic

The problem of rapidly increasing unemployment for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and with reduced opportunities due to a lack of academic qualifications, is one of the key consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic. “From Pandemic to Academic,” would offer those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, access a short, intense Bridging Module which, if passed, would provide them with the opportunity to apply for degree courses. The 12 -week module would be taught by university tutors and offered onsite on university campuses. Participants would have access to university resources during the module, including libraries and 1:1 tutorials.with their university tutor. The content of the module would be shaped around the lived-experiences of participants which would then be used to develop critical thinking and academic writing skills. The module would be taught at the equivalent of Level 4 so that students would have a clear understanding of academic expectations and gain insight into the potentially transformational impact of education. The fact that it would be taught in universities would mean that participants who had never considered Higher Education as an option, would be able to visualise themselves as students. The course would consist of lectures, discussions and academic writing activities. The course would be academically assessed on completion of 2 written assignments. Passing the course would be perceived as non-traditional access to higher education and allow participants to apply for degree courses. This would help to breakdown the “ivory- towered,” image of higher education institutions and to develop self-belief and self-esteem in the students involved. If students did not choose to apply for university after the course, they would still have gained an academic level qualification which could be added to their CV., enhancing employment opportunities. The groups on this module would need to be small (maximum 10 participants) to ensure that individual support can be provided and and a positive relationships built between participants. . Intelligence and education are not synonymous , yet these two concepts are often confused in UK society and this creates barriers to social mobility. The newly unemployed often lose a sense of identity and self-worth but they have time to study and learn something new. “From Pandemic to Academic,” would provide them with the opportunity to capitalise on the free time that they are currently experiencing and potentially re-shape their future. (This project has been developed successfully on a very small scale with those who have experienced homelessness and addiction).




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