Mature graduate Richard hails degree opportunities


Date: 1st Jan 2015

Proud dad Richard Joseph has collected a degree at Buckinghamshire New University after juggling his studies with bringing up his six-year-old daughter.

Richard, 35, gained a 2:1 in BA (Hons) Advertising Management and Digital Communications and collected his degree at Wycombe Swan Theatre, during a week of celebrations.Richard Joseph

His daughter Shantae was in the audience, along with partner, Vicky Hobbs, and parents David and Margaret Joseph, and Richard said it was a ‘hugely enjoyable moment’ to step on to stage to receive his degree.

“It has not always been easy,” said Richard, who attended Sir William Ramsay School in Rose Avenue, Hazlemere, High Wycombe.

“Returning to study in my 30s presented challenges, not least also making time for Shantae while keeping up with my degree, but I’m extremely proud with what I have achieved.

“I was working in warehousing but wanted to gain a degree to provide a better future for me and my family and now I am speaking to agencies and looking to get a job. The future looks exciting.”

Richard said his partner had been ‘extremely supportive’ and he praised the University and the quality of lecturers for ensuring he was able to achieve what he set out to do.

“The lecturers on my degree were absolutely awesome and had a broad breadth of knowledge which meant I learnt about such a huge range of areas,” said Richard.

“I received a warm welcome at the University and while at times it was strange going home to my family while other students were out partying the main thing was to get a degree.

“I would urge anyone who feels like they’re stuck in a job and want to look again at what they’re doing to consider a degree. I feel it has set me up for a positive career now.”

Vic Davies, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer, said: "As a mature student, Richard  showed strength of character in carrying out his studies while juggling with his other responsibilities.

"He engaged fully with his academic work  and always made a through contribution to discussions in lectures  and when working with other  students.

"Richard demonstrated his new skills and knowledge particularly well in several live presentations to major companies and in questioning industry speakers."

Mr Davies said Richard was an example of 'a growing number' of mature students he had seen returning to full-time study and completing degrees at Bucks in recent years.

He added: "We work with these students to understand  issues they may have in returning to full-time education and what this means in  terms of developing time management and study skills.

"The University looks to ensure that students are treated as individuals, rather than just part of an anonymous mass.

"This creates not only a platform for academic success but one that enables the student to use the knowledge and skills gained here as basis for career and life changes."

Pictured: Richard Joseph with daughter Shantae after graduating.