Penwith College offers Access to Academic Excellence

An adult student from Penzance has been awarded a scholarship for academic excellence after receiving exceptional grades on her pre-university Access course.

After completing the ‘Access to Higher Education: Humanities’ course at Penwith College and achieving distinctions in all her coursework, Emily Tibbles has been awarded the Academic Excellence 2021/2022 Scholarship through the University of Kent.  

Emily, who is hoping to become a teacher, is studying BA (Hons) Liberal Arts at the University of Kent. What makes the scholarship more remarkable is that progressing to university hadn’t even crossed Emily’s mind until staff at Penwith College helped her to realise her potential. 

Emily has praised Ofsted Outstanding Penwith College’s support throughout her journey. Starting on a programme of A Levels made up of Sociology, Geography and a Music Certificate, where she also achieved highly, getting an A, B and Distinction, she then moved onto the Access course to help her determine if university was for her.   

“When I did my A Levels, I was very worried about the thought of going to university,” Emily said. “I’m glad I re-enrolled at the College to do the Access course. It had a lot to offer; I was able to study a range of subjects and it prepared me well to get to where I am now. 

I don’t know if I would’ve completed my courses, let alone gone to university, without the amazing help and support that I received at the College both academically and personally.

Emily Tibbles

Not only is Emily thriving academically at university but is also enjoying being a student representative for politics and international relations, a member of the German Society and the Music Society, where she plays bass clarinet and alto saxophone.  

Emily now hopes to continue studying so she can train to become a teacher and then work abroad teaching English.  

Vanessa Hager, Humanities Access Course Leader at Truro and Penwith College, said: “Emily was a star student, whose attitude to her studies was truly inspiring. She was always exceptionally generous in supporting her fellow students and enriched the course in so many ways.” 

Emily’s advice to future students who aren’t sure if university is for them, is: “It’s okay to change your mind and be unsure. You don’t have to go to university straight away, if it all. On my Access course there was a wide range of people of different ages and stages in life. Do what’s best for you and what makes you feel comfortable and happy.” 

Truro and Penwith College offer a wide range of Access courses that provide learners with a step-up to Higher Education by giving them the necessary grounding, qualifications and confidence to succeed.