• Chris Paul


Welcome to my first of many blogs aiming to reflect on the journey I will be taking on the next few years as a Community Education student at UWS. My journey to university has been a long one and having entered the doors for the first time at 32, I feel ready to make a real impact and enjoy the experience.

I think it is really important to give context to the date of 6th October 2020, the first class of the degree I am undertaking. In amongst this, there is a global pandemic with Covid-19 having a devastating impact worldwide on physical and mental wellbeing. Since March of this year, we have been restricted with local, national and worldwide lockdowns that have impacted how we live to an extent never witnessed before.

Having been accepted for starting my studies in January, there was a concern that I wouldn't be able to start them at all with the continuing concerns around Covid-19, however due to the hard-work of the staff at UWS, they have been able to find a way to deliver courses with a flexible blended learning approach. Classes will be delivered online and some will be on campus. The first one on the 6th October was thankfully delivered on campus, which would always be my preference.

We had two classes, the first of which was centring around Inclusion and Participation and the second in the afternoon focussing on the Practice Learning and subsequent leadership theories. Half of the class were in attendance within the impressive auditorium and the other half were joining via WebEx. Overall, I believe it will be a challenge to learn in this way, however adapting to these restrictions and succeeding will only increase our resilience in the most testing of times.

My first impressions of University life are good, despite the current pandemic and the impact this will have on the studies. The people within the course are welcoming and the lecturers seem passionate in the same areas as myself - social justice, inequality and the importance of community engagement. I am looking forward to the next 3 years of learning and being a Community Education student, regardless of the external conditions outwith my control, I will ensure that I get the best experience possible!

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