Having the tools to confidently step into university study is no easy feat, but thanks to the University Preparation Program 41 University of Tasmania students took the plunge last year.
Completion ceremonies were held in Burnie, Launceston and Hobart last month, to honour the students, which saw many fast-track into undergraduate degrees.
The University of Tasmania’s University Preparation Program Coordinator for 2018 and UPP teaching staff member Paula Johnson said the program was flexible and designed to provide adult learners with academic learning skills and the confidence and personal skills needed to succeed at university.
Ms Johnson said successful completion of the program enables students to meet the general admission requirements for undergraduate degree courses offered by the university.
“There is an enormous diversity of students who enrol in the University Preparation Program, but a common theme is the enthusiasm and dedication which is shown in the approach to study,” Ms Johnson said.
“Their achievements are an inspiration to staff and peers alike."
For 45-year-old Launceston student Sara Pickup, the University Preparation Program has changed her life.
Originally from Wales, Sara moved to Tasmania four years ago while her partner studied his geology degree at the University of Tasmania’s Sandy Bay campus.
Watching her partner graduate with Honours, inspired Sara to change her career path in retail, which had been successful but wasn’t her passion.
“I quit my job and started to look around for any type of further education courses I could attend, as it had been a long time since I had done any formal education that hadn’t been related to my jobs,” Sara said.
“I attended a UTAS open day and received all the information needed to apply for UPP and that’s how my uni life began.
“I had always wanted to work within the justice system and now was my chance to change careers, but I had to go to university to gain a degree.”
While initially the course felt like a baptism of fire, Sara said the support networks at home and at university made the journey possible.
“If I had just gone straight into doing a degree and had not done the UPP and taken full advantage of what it had to offer, there is no doubt in my mind I would have crashed and burned at the first hurdle and run for the hills,” Sara said.
“I hadn’t switched on a computer before I did this course, I’d never sent an email. But I was determined to believe in myself.
“I didn’t want to be doing a job I really didn’t like for the next 30 years or so. I’m working hard to re-educate myself and eventually do a job I’m really interested in for the next 25 years.”
Sara will study forensic psychology at the Newnham campus this year and hopes to carve out a career in psychology.
For more information about UPP, please refer to the UPP Information Booklet.
Caption: Launceston student Sara Pickup, 45, recently completed the University of Tasmania’s University Preparation Program which she believes has changed her life.