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"Adult learners can use their skills and experience to excel"

Joy -Tendai Kangere returned to education through the University College Dublin (UCD) Access and Lifelong Learning programme. The programme prepares adults, who may not have formal qualifications, for successful study at university level. Joy completed the Access to Arts & Human Sciences course which allowed her to progress to study for a Bachelor of Civil Law Honours degree.

“Returning to education when trying to balance family life with two small children initially seemed unattainable”

I returned to education to study law, my lifelong passion. To me, it’s like tackling Mount Everest and I have dubbed these four years my ‘Edu - Everest’. I am currently studying a Bachelor of Civil Law Hons Degree in University College Dublin (UCD). Returning to education when trying to balance family life with two small children initially seemed unattainable but three years on, I’m still amazed at how I’ve managed. It has been a great experience and I would have regretted it had I not tried.

“I felt like I had been given a second chance in life”

I went through a difficult period in my life where I experienced the loss of my baby and nearly died. It took a long time to recover from this traumatic event and I had to leave my job. Following this I felt like I had been given a second chance in life and I decided I wanted to use my voice for those who cannot speak out. I choose law as it had been my career ambition since I was six years old. Most importantly, I am doing this for my son, who unfortunately did not live long enough to accomplish his own dreams.

“Returning to education leads to self-discovery”

I hope to graduate in 2018, which will be a big achievement! My goal is to establish a career in Corporate Finance but I also want to advocate for civic rights. The last three years have taught me to follow my dreams. Returning to education leads to self-discovery - you will discover things you never knew about yourself. You will learn to take the challenge and fulfil those goals that you were once afraid of.

“I have life experiences behind me”

Embarking on a new career path or retraining is a rewarding experience. It may seem daunting having to study with people that are younger than you. As a person of ethnic minority I was also worried that I wouldn’t fit in. But I always remember; I have life experiences behind me, I’ve managed to run a household and do my job. Adult learners can use their skills, know-how and experience to excel in a learning environment.


If you have an inspiring learner story that you would like to share you can contact Leah Dowdall, Learner Advocacy Officer by email: ldowdall@aontas.com, call 01 406 8220 or you can fill out our short learner story survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LearnerStory.