Our News

18 June 2012

Cardiff and Vale College student James is Access to HE Learner of the Year

Cardiff and Vale College student James Bevan has been named Access to Higher Education Learner of the Year by Agored Cymru.

James, 18 and from St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, left school without qualifications after being badly bullied. He taught himself for a year but decided to enrol at CAVC’s Barry site in 2010.

“He joined us at the College a very shy but mature young man and completed his GCSEs with excellent results,” College Access to HE (Humanities) Co-ordinator Jonathan Pearson said. “Based on this we accepted him onto Access to HE and since then he has blossomed into a confident, articulate individual who was voted the course representative for the Humanities pathway by his peers.”

Despite the Access to HE course being one of the most intensive offered by the College, James decided to study a fourth elective subject on top of the compulsory three. Despite being the lone carer for his parents, he is on course to achieve his diploma with the maximum 45 distinctions and has been accepted on a Social Science degree course at Cardiff University.

“I was delighted and honoured to even be considered for this award!” James said. “I feel so proud and overwhelmed to be chosen from a selection across Wales.

“I came to the College two years on an Access to Further Education course, and I’d been out of school for a year as I had been badly bullied.

I’d home educated myself for a while, but naturally didn’t receive any qualifications for my efforts so I went to the closest college – Barry College, now Cardiff and Vale College – in order to attain my GCSEs. After that I progressed on to the Access to HE course which I have been studying for the past year.

“I’ve absolutely loved my time at the College. The staff have all been wonderful and I cannot thank them enough for sponsoring me through both courses. The Learning and Skills Centre also made the experience far easier and the staff there always on hand to help with whatever problem. I am really going to miss going in to College every day.”

James is considering becoming a teacher himself and is considering a return to CAVC to study for his teaching qualifications after graduating from Cardiff.

Jonathan Person added: “James’ academic ability is clear, and he has the diligence and insight to make a real success of higher education; he has remarkable time-management skills – studying, meeting deadlines while looking after his parents; and his strength of character and emotional maturity is resolute despite such a burden of responsibility. 

“He has a passion for learning and self-improvement, pushing himself in areas where he is less comfortable such as presentations.  He is polite and respectful to staff and students, has the best attendance record and has never missed a deadline.”