‘I’ve waited over 30 years to do this’ – mature land college student finally picks up degree

Easton and Otley College student Maureen Gibson with her award Picture: JOHN NICE

Easton and Otley College student Maureen Gibson with her award Picture: JOHN NICE - Credit: Archant

A 60-year-old student said she was “chuffed” after picking up her degree and an academic accolade – 32 years after she first decided she wanted to further her studies.

Easton and Otley College student June Cowles from Woodbridge with her teacher, Claire Fisher, on gra

Easton and Otley College student June Cowles from Woodbridge with her teacher, Claire Fisher, on graduating Picture: JOHN NICE - Credit: Archant

Maureen Gibson of Harwich was one of more than 20 students across Suffolk and Essex to gain higher education qualifications at Easton and Otley College handed their awards at a graduation ceremony.

As well as securing her Bachelor of Science land-based sciences ecology degree, she also received an award for academic engagement.

MORE - Merger plans for Easton and Otley College receive 'overwhelming support'The mature student initially studied on a wildlife and conservation pathway at the Otley campus before finishing her final year at Easton, near Norwich, where she gained her degree.

"I tried to go to university at the age of 28 but I wasn't able. So, I've waited over 30 years to do this. I was delighted to get my degree and chuffed to win the award," she explained.

Another studen, June Cowles from Woodbridge, expressed her delight as she collected a PGCE teaching qualification.


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"I've always wanted to be a teacher but life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans, as John Lennon once said. However, I decided to retrain as a teacher and I'm now living my dream by working in foundation learning at Otley. I love what I do - it makes my heart sing," she said.

Principal Jane Townsend congratulated the students on their achievements.

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"You have made me incredibly proud," she said.

The students' certificates were affiliated to the University of East Anglia (UEA) and University of Huddersfield.

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