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Matt's story

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For Matthew Courtney, Liverpool Hope University was an obvious choice for his studies, 'When I came to look at Hope on an Open Day, it felt a lot more personal. One of the lecturers sat down and spoke to me before the subject talk. He showed an actual interest in me and why I was there. It made a difference.’

Taking the next step

And this personalised university experience was the reason Matt felt comfortable taking the next step to study Sport & Physical Education at Hope. ‘I was actually doing a PE apprenticeship with the Liverpool School Sports Partnership, which involved me working in schools 4 days a week and assisting the PE department.’

‘I learnt so much from the teachers and built great working relationships with them,’ he said, before adding ‘it’s something that was really important for me to build on in my university degree.’

When questioned why this was so important, Matt’s response was immediate. ‘Well it just means that you feel comfortable asking for help.’

‘And Hope has been great too because I’ve been able to create the same professional relationships with my tutors, so I ask them for help when I need it.’

Growing professionally

Having that support system around him has helped Matt to develop outside of the classroom as well. ‘My degree has helped in every single aspect of my life - I’m a better communicator, my writing skills have improved, I’m more confident and I look at things in my working life more critically.’

‘I’m working three jobs at the moment,’ he tells us. ‘I’m a steward at Anfield, I coach, and I’m a Student Ambassador for the University.’

And each job has its ties with Hope. ‘I got the Anfield job through the University careers fair at the start of my first year, which has been great because I’m a Liverpool fan so it doesn’t really feel like a job.’

‘My coaching job has been a big help for my dissertation this year as it gave me the contacts I needed to be able to do the research side of my studies.’

‘And my Student Ambassador job has meant that I’ve got to know the Uni a lot better; I get to introduce other people to the University and what it has to offer.’

Community and comfort

And despite living at home, Matt really does feel like he’s a part of the Hope community, in both his work and social life. ‘Because I wasn’t living on campus, joining a society was one of the ways I could meet new people. And I’ve met tons of people from doing that.’

‘One day in my first year, I actually ended up being on campus from 9am to 9pm because I was staying to do the Rugby and Badminton societies. And in between, I’d be spending time with my mates who lived in halls and hanging out in their accommodation.’

More than just a number

For Matt, the personalised and friendly atmosphere at Hope has helped him to flourish in his studies and working life. ‘Hope is just one of those places where you want to come in and walk around campus and talk to people.’

‘It’s not a student machine. It’s the place I want to be and you’re more than just a number when you study at Hope.’