Shane Johnson

"University gave me the confidence to enhance my knowledge and report writing skills. The rapport I got with lecturers was amazing and enhanced my social skills, too. As I was a part–time lecturer at the College whilst studying at RGU, I was able to learn how they did it at university — so that now helps me to better prepare my students for the prospect of university."

It took Shane a couple of years to find the right route for him into higher education but after applying to North East Scotland College and discovering the Degree Link programme, he went on to successfully complete a degree in Network Management & Design. He is now a full–time Lecturer in NESCol's Computing Team.

Age: 29
Secondary school: Burnholme Community College
NESCol course: HND Computing: Networking
RGU course: BSc Computer Network Management & Design
Current role: Lecturer in Computing, North East Scotland College

Why did you choose the Degree Link route?

I started study at The University of Aberdeen in 2010 doing a degree in Computing Science and, although I learned a lot, I realised that I needed to take a different approach to studying. I applied for my HND at the College and it was there that I learned about Degree Link. I signed up to be an associate student of RGU and was able to access their facilities, which was good as I gained an insight into studying at RGU.

What's been the best thing about the experience?

The lecturers — when I first came to NESCol my confidence was shattered; I had given up third year of a course to go back to first year of another degree route. But the lecturers were amazing. They gave me a lot of help and helped me build up my confidence. If I struggled they were there to keep me in the right direction and without them I don't think I would have made it to RGU.

What was the best thing about studying at NESCol?

Making new friends and being in an environment where you are with people who are on the same level as you. When you do group projects it is a very valuable experience as it gives you a lot of experience of working with people who may not have the same perspective as you.

What's the best thing about studying at RGU?

I would have to say the equipment. They have a lot of networking equipment for students to use that gives you a real experience of what you will be doing in a job.

Would you recommend Degree Link to other students? Why?

Yes, it helped me gain access to RGU at third year. As you are studying at College you are given a lot of support to help you get ready for university. By the time I got to RGU I would say I felt more prepared than I would if I had taken the university route to begin with.