For the first time in Cumbria mature university students are aiming to prove that you’re never too old to learn.
A team, made up of students from the University of Cumbria who’ve all either come to higher education in later life, has been formed to spread the word at events across the county.
Carol Evans, a nurse in Dumfries, already has a degree in the subject but wanted to explore forensic science so has embarked on the university’s well respected forensics science course.
“I’m an infection control nurse yet have always had a huge fascination for forensic science; my first degree was at a large university and to study at a smaller one where all staff know your name and are very willing to help has been a real confidence booster,” she said. “I’ll be 53 when I qualify in forensic and investigative science but the extra skills will stand me in good stead for the future.”
For Deborah Fenwick from Carlisle, a long held ambition to study for a degree qualification in occupational therapy has come to fruition.
“I’m a social care worker and would like to work in the NHS so this is an ideal qualification for me and while I’ll be 51 when I qualify, with the retirement age increasing I’ll have plenty of time to make use of the new skills I’ll acquire,” Deborah said.
Together they make up a small group who are keen to share their experience and encourage others to consider taking up a course at the university. This weekend at the Carlisle Unity Festival and at next month’s Lowther Show, Deborah, Carol and others will be talking about their experiences as mature learners.
“They were really keen to spread the word about the value of learning in later life and how it can be achieved, even alongside the demands of everyday,” says Emma Garbett, who works within the university’s recruitment team. “We’ve lots of advice about how to find the right course, resilience when it comes to having the best chance of completing it together with how to pace study. But the enthusiasm of our own students to spread the word has been inspiring.”
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