Posted : 9th July 2014
Before coming to Fircroft, Shafiq Ur-Rehman worked in factories, supermarkets and as a delivery driver and taxi driver, as well as excelling as a semi-professional cricketer. However, Shafiq always felt that his career ambitions were unfulfilled. He says, “I had always wanted to do something more with my life, something to better the lives of both myself and my family, and felt the only way I could really achieve this goal was through further education”. Shafiq first heard about Fircroft College via a classmate at Stone Hall Adult Education Centre in Acocks Green, where he was studying GCSE Maths.
Shafiq’s Fircroft experience started with attending a number of short courses, and he found the learning atmosphere very friendly and welcoming. Whilst at Fircroft, Shafiq started to think about the prospect of going to university to study Law, a subject he’d been fascinated in since childhood. He decided to apply for the College’s Access to Higher Education Diploma, a fast-track 30 week programme for adult learners interested in progressing onto higher education.
During his year on the Access course, Shafiq was a residential student. He soon discovered the many advantages of living on-campus, commenting, “being a resident helped me a lot. Access to 24 hour facilities such as the library was very beneficial and meant I was always able to hand work in on time”. There were difficult and stressful times during the year too, but Shafiq found the extracurricular events organised throughout the year were especially helpful in breaking up the work load and offering students time to relax. He says “We had good fun as well as working hard this year. We had football matches with the staff and organised a pool tournament too”. Shafiq found the teaching support at Fircroft to be incredibly supportive and motivational, saying that “tutors often stayed in the college with us into the late evening, giving up their own time”.
Shafiq now feels confident enough to take on the challenges of university and plans to start his Law degree at the University of Gloucestershire in September. He says “I know it will be hard but I’m ready, that’s what Fircroft taught me, never give up. Fircroft has given me the confidence and courage to stick with my aim”. Like many previous Access students, Shafiq thoroughly enjoyed his time at Fircroft, and will never forget the help and support he received here on his journey to new career and a new life. He concludes, “I had a great experience, all staff and my fellow students were brilliant and I met some great people in this college. I will miss you Fircroft”.