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    BSDC graduates inspire the next generation in health and social care

    13 March 2024

    Grace Oakley and Lauren Keyte, two former Health and Social Care learners at Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC), recently returned to the college to share their experiences of university level studies and their career aspirations with current learners.

    Grace Oakley, a compassionate person who enjoys caring for others, embarked on her educational journey at BSDC undertaking Level 2 and 3 Health and Social Care courses. She then progressed to a Foundation Degree course at the college before pursuing a Top-up Degree at Derby University. Grace's dedication to her studies and her commitment to balancing work as a carer alongside her university course, demonstrates her determination to excel in her chosen field.

    Reflecting on her journey, Grace emphasises the importance of higher education in unlocking better career prospects. Grace said: "I chose Health and Social Care as I've always been quite a caring person. I did it in school and I really liked it, so I just thought I would follow what I'm good at. I would encourage students to take higher education courses – it will give you better career opportunities in the future.”

    Similarly, Lauren Keyte's journey showcases the opportunities available through higher education at BSDC. Lauren's passion for making a positive impact on people's lives led her to pursue the Level 3 Health and Social Care course at the college. She then continued her studies with a Foundation Degree and a Health and Social Care Top-up Degree.

    During her studies at BSDC, Lauren won Higher Education Learner of the Year, and believes that the supportive learning environment was key to her success. She said: "I enjoyed studying the Foundation Degree at BSDC - the groups are smaller than at uni and you get more support from the lecturers.”

    Speaking about her future aspirations, she added: “I just got accepted to a Masters programme in Psychology which I’ll start once I’ve gained my degree. Studying higher education courses can help you find the area you’re interested in specialising and can lead to higher paying jobs in the future. I like looking after people and making people happy. It’s nice to see people improve - it's a very rewarding area of work.”

    Barbara Mikolajczak, Health and Social Care Lecturer at BSDC commented: “We were delighted that Grace and Lauren returned to the college to provide inspiration to our current learners. We witness incredible growth and development in our students, from Level 3 to degree level. The small group discussions, presentations and personalised support play a pivotal role in their academic journey.”

    Fellow lecturer, Claire Taylor added: “The Foundation Degree's emphasis on reading, research and honing writing skills prepares students for degree level study and beyond. Both Grace and Lauren have transitioned from Health and Social Care courses to pursuing degree-level studies, paving the way for promising career opportunities in the health and social care sector. They are an inspiration to our current learners; it’s always a proud moment when you watch learners develop and grow over time.”

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