A Coleraine mum joined Ash singer-songwriter Tim Wheeler to graduate from the Open University last week.
Mr Wheeler had his award conferred alongside 277 graduating students – from all walks of life, of all ages and backgrounds and from a spectrum of careers – at Belfast Waterfront Hall.
Mr Wheeler was recognised for his exceptional contribution to education and culture. The Open University makes honorary awards in line with its mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas, and the promotion of social justice through the development of knowledge and skills.
Many of the 277 graduates have fitted their study around work or family commitments; some have a disability or live in a remote or rural community, while others did not have traditional university entry qualifications, or came from low-income households. For all of them, today’s ceremony marks the culmination of years of hard work and commitment to learning.
One student is Diane Gibb from Coleraine, who achieved a BA (Hons) in Business Studies. She decided to study with The Open University because the flexibility of studying part-time fitted her life as a working mum. She believes that studying with The Open University has helped grow her confidence and build a good relationship with her employer, as she can now apply new skills and abilities directly to her job.
“I had to be organised and self-disciplined in order to meet deadlines and get my OU work done during the only free time I had whilst raising a family. It meant I was able to work and study at the same time and benefit from continuous work experience alongside my degree.”