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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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Mature students scoop places at top universities thanks to courses at Barrow college

TWO mature students from Ulverston who juggle academia with parenthood are celebrating offers from top universities.

Owen Lowrie and Beverley Dent returned to study through the Furness College Access to University Diploma and they now have offers from Russell Group universities.

Mr Lowrie, 31, will head to Durham University to study primary education, while Mrs Dent, 30, will read archeology at either Newcastle University or the University of York.

The Ulverston students took English and human physiology as part of the full-time course at the Barrow college.

Mr Lowrie is a dad-of-two who volunteers at the Croftlands schools and works part-time as a coach driver.

He said: “I’m over the moon. When I started the course I didn’t expect to have an offer from Durham.

“University was not for me when I was younger, I just wanted to work. But I wanted a new career and I’ve wanted to go into primary teaching for a while.

“The course has been brilliant. The tutors are excellent, really helpful and understanding of mature students with families. It has given me a lot of confidence because it was a long time since I had done formal study and I was worried. But if I hadn’t have come on this course I couldn’t have pursued the career I want. It’s given me the pathway.”

Mrs Dent is a mum to three children who she has home schooled. Her husband studied at university as a mature student and she felt the time was right for her.

She said: “I came to college as a route to university. It’s 10 years since I went to sixth form and I didn’t know what I wanted to do at that time so I found choosing a degree outfacing.

“When I started the access course it was with a view of going into health care, but I’ve always been interested in history and I took a leap of faith.

“The tutors are fantastic and incredibly helpful. They are very aware of what it is like for families.

“I was absolutely stunned with my offers. I thought I’d been a bit ambitious. I’m thrilled. I would like to go on to work in cultural heritage.”

Richard Watson, curriculum manager for the access course, said: “Owen and Beverley are excellent and dedicated students who have worked hard. Their science investigative work has been outstanding. Their skills have improved significantly. They have fantastic offers.

“The great thing about the access course is that people who don’t have the traditional qualifications can still access top universities.”

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