“..An empowering and rewarding experience that changed my life..”
Joanne Wesley-Williams encourages those with an ambition to study a degree to enrol on a pathway at Cardiff University.
Joanne Wesley-Williams is a real success story. As a mother of three young children, leaving school at 16 with just her GCSEs, Jo decided to begin her journey of learning by enrolling on the Exploring the Past Pathway at Cardiff University. Three years later Jo is about to embark on her final year of her History degree.
“At forty-one years old, with three young children it’s important to be a positive role model, but I had nothing to sing about educationally leaving school twenty five years ago with just my GCSEs. For me, part of the problem with returning to study was finding the time, so being able to take classes in the evenings and on weekends was a big help.
“The Exploring the Past courses have provided me with a different set of skills, broadening my knowledge and boosting my confidence. The classes are small and quite informal and it is a good opportunity to meet other adult learners from diverse backgrounds. Also, the level of support from the Centre for Lifelong Learning and the Exploring the Past team, in particular Dave Wyatt and Richard Marsden, has been invaluable.
“Some people came along to the courses just for fun but several, myself included, became engrossed and decided to enrol onto the degree. Not everyone wants to go on to further study and that is fine as well as it’s a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people and have lots of fun. I however decided to study full-time to speed up the process and it most definitely did that. It seems like such a short time ago that I was making my way to my first evening class, which changed my whole perception of what I should expect of my future. Originally, I had no real aspirations of what I might do with a history degree, and now with the end in sight I have realised the world is my oyster, the career avenues are endless.
“I can’t deny there have been several moments of uncertainty and more than a few frantic deadlines during my time at Cardiff University, being a working mum of three can throw you off balance at times! Becoming a mature undergraduate was not the scary rollercoaster ride I had imagined, but an empowering, rewarding experience that has changed my life in more ways than I can describe.
“Being an adult learner is an advantage – I’m here because I want to be, not just because I can. If it interests you, go for it! It is never too late to try something new. All of the fears I had, turned out to be unfounded. I was worried that I couldn’t afford it and I didn’t have the time. Other things had prevented me in the past such as ‘what about the children?’ or ‘what will my family think?’ and most of all, ‘am I too old?’ In actual fact my children think it’s great and my family are very proud.”
Joanne is now studying for a BA in History at Cardiff University along with several other mature students who completed the Exploring the Past Pathway.
Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning currently provides pathways in the following subjects: Accounting and Finance, Archaeology, Business Management, English Language, English Literature, History, Journalism and Media, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Politics, Religious Studies, Social Science, and Translation.
This year 27 local adult learners transformed their lives and progressed onto a degree through the Pathways scheme.
For more information on Pathways contact Dr Richard Marsden on 029 2087 5610 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively visit www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn/pathways and contact our Coordinating lecturers for support and advice. For more information on all the part-time courses on offer come along to our Open Days on Wednesday 10 September from 12.00 noon to 2.00pm and 5.00pm to 7.00pm and Saturday 13 September from 11.00am to 1.00pm at Cardiff University’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, Senghennydd Road, Cardiff.
Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning
Cardiff University is the largest provider of adult education in Wales. The Centre provides around 500 Lifelong Learning Courses a year. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) provides short courses for business, public sector employers and the individual. The Centre also provides business language training at all levels, including translation services and interpreters. More information about pathways to undergraduate degrees and widening access can be found at www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn
Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff’s four flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to cancer stem cells, catalysis, neurosciences and mental health and sustainable places.
Visit the University website at: www.cardiff.ac.uk
For further information contact:
Sophie Irvine, Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning, Cardiff University
Tel: 029 2087 6342