Mum of two Paula Dean has fast-tracked herself into a promising new career after completing a degree and a teaching qualification in less than three years.
Paula, 30, from Stoke-on-Trent has recently graduated from Staffordshire University with a fast-track BA(Hons) Business Management degree and a PGCE in Business Education.
Staffordshire University prides itself on being one of only a few UK institutions to successfully offer two-year honours degrees.
Single mum Paula was encouraged to rethink her future after she was made redundant from her job as plant hire manager. However she was unaware of Staffordshire University’s two-year degree options when she enrolled on her undergraduate course.
She explained: “I transferred on to the fast-track degree based on my performance in the first year. Because I was used to working all through the year and the fast-track is the same but without the big summer break, I found it ideal.”
“I qualified with my degree having only incurred two years tuition fees which was another huge incentive considering I have a family to support.”
On completing her degree, she enrolled on the PGCE and her hard work and commitment has already paid off as she has now successfully landed her first teaching post in Newport, Telford.
Said Paula: “Luckily I got straight on to the PGCE when I finished the fast-track. It’s brilliant that everything has slotted into place. Looking back I think how on earth did I do that but I’m actually going to miss the study.”
Research into two-year degrees carried out by Staffordshire University has revealed that fast-track students are around £20,000 better off than traditional undergraduates and are outperforming three year degree students.
However it also determines that government needs to act to make the offering of two-year degrees financially viable for universities.
Dr Steve Wyn-Williams, Director for Academic Development at Staffordshire University, said: “If universities were allowed to charge a higher annual tuition fee for a fast-track degree the financial viability of these degrees would be substantially enhanced and fast-track degrees could be marketed as a ‘premier route’ which would allow students to differentiate themselves by their aptitude and commitment to learning as well as saving on their costs.”
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