Life Hack: Not going to university? – Breaking the apprenticeship stigma


In 2012, aged 21 and after almost 2 years of deferred entry in to my second year. I had officially made up my mind to drop out of University. Deciding to give myself as many options as possible, I applied to low tuition English taught bachelor programmes outside the UK, as well as higher apprenticeships in project management and land surveying.

So, what are higher apprenticeships?

  • A level 6 Higher Apprenticeship is the vocational equivalent to a university degree.
  • A programme which pays for you to study a degree part time whilst working.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that a lot of young people, particularly those from the African diaspora, aren’t truly aware of the opportunities that can arise from taking the apprenticeship route. Many of our parents may disregard them as a viable option due to lack of awareness to what they entail.

My Experience

That year, I had interviews with two renowned construction companies:

1) Faithful and Gould – A Project Management Company (now part of Atkins) (

Apprenticeship offered: Project Management Consultancy (for construction)

The programme was offering a paid apprenticeship (£250 a week) where you would be shadowing qualified professionals. An integrated degree (paid for by the company) would be available after the first year….

Continue reading “Life Hack: Not going to university? – Breaking the apprenticeship stigma”

Chinye: My University Experience – Doing Things Differently

Chinye (2)

In 2009 I graduated from 6th form and was headed to a top 10 university to study Architectural Engineering. My parents were both beaming with pride and expectation, which was a bold contrast to how I felt. To be frank, I had no idea what I was doing. It was as if I was in limbo with a cloud of frustration over me. My conditional at UCL had been declined and I  loathed the fact my parents were making me go to my second-choice university.

I distinctly remember the journey there, squashed between my suitcases with my dad Lewis Hamilton-ing down the motorway. All I could think about were my shattered plans; I was supposed to live at home, join the skating club and somehow get my hands on an Arsenal season ticket.

My first year was met with misery, I was used to not fitting in, but this time it was exacerbated by all the middle-class, male, non-Londoners that were on my course. I was 1 of 3 black students studying a built environment subject, encompassing over 200 students. Not only were there physical differences, but it seemed as if there was a world of dissimilar cultural understandings too. I wasn’t interested in who shagged who, golf, or drinking…etc. What made it worse is that I’m different in my own respect, and my university at the time didn’t cater to those who were. All this was aggravated by the few individuals who made it their duty to challenge my intellectual capacity with snarky subtle comments, because of course, the way you articulate yourself is the best representation of your IQ. Clearly scientific…. Continue reading “Chinye: My University Experience – Doing Things Differently”

LIFE HACK: Full List of Scholarships for African Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students 2017/2018

Incase you know any students who can benefit from this list please share:

1a. 2017/2018 Fully Funded Scholarships – APPLY NOW
1b. List of DAAD Scholarships 2017/2018 – Apply Now

2. APPLY:Korean Government Scholarships for 170 Bachelors, 800 Masters & PhD for Developing Countries 2017-2018

3. TOP 15+ Scholarships Opportunities for Africans to Study Abroad 2017-2018 Continue reading “LIFE HACK: Full List of Scholarships for African Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students 2017/2018”