19th January 2000
LATE STARTER ACHIEVES POSTGRADUATE SUCCESS
A Beverley man who left school at 16 with only a handful of CSEs will celebrate success on Friday when he receives an MSc from the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside.
David Lucy, a quality manager with an engineering firm in Grimsby, enrolled on the university’s Learning Contract scheme on the basis of his experience in quality management.
And even though pressures of work and family commitments caused him to fall behind in his three-year course he worked long hours at night and at the weekend for six months to achieve his goal of an MSc in Quality Management.
“At school I was a happy-go-lucky, fly-by-night sort of a chap and I left with only a basic level of education,” said David, 31, of Figham Springs Way in Beverley. “I started working in quality management at the age of 17, but by the time I was in my mid-twenties I realised that I had to improve my academic background and knowledge if my career was to progress any further.
“My employers sponsored me take to GCSE English at Hull College, and then I saw an advertisement in the Hull Daily Mail for the Learning Contract scheme at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside, where I was lucky enough to get a place on the course.”
Three years on David is grateful for having been given the chance to return to education.
“Some people leave school with nothing and only go on to develop later,” he said. “But you can only progress so far in your career without further and higher qualifications, and it’s imperative that universities recognise that people like me are able to progress.
late starter, contd...
“The Learning Contract is an ideal mechanism for late starters to gain that qualification and knowledge.”
Commuting to Grimsby each day and helping to care for his one-year-old daughter Charlotte left David with precious little time for studying - and as a result his course work did begin to slip.
“There was no time at work to do the degree and we often work at weekends too, so I did fall behind,” David explained. “I had to motivate myself, and that was something I’d never done before! It was purgatory - I was working long hours into the night and using my holiday from work for studying at home.
“Those six months were the most stressful of my life, but I was determined to get the qualification. It meant a lot to me to begin the year 2000 with a fresh start.
“The support I had from my supervisor, Chris Thompson, was absolutely phenomenal. He helped, supported and advised me in a professional sense, and we also became good friends.”
Lecturer Chris Thompson said that David’s success should serve as an inspiration to others who may feel that education has passed them by.
“I can remember much debate three years ago about whether to allow David to enrol, but he convinced me with his enthusiasm and his promise not to let me down,” he said.
“Ironically, he enrolled at the same time as a group of better qualified managers from
larger blue chip corporations - and not one of these completed the course.”
David will receive his MSc at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside’s winter graduation ceremony at Hull City Hall at 11.30am on Friday 21st January.
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For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager
University of Lincolnshire & Humberside (tel: 01522 886042) or David Lucy on 01472 353516.