A former accountant who returned to study 26 years after achieving her first degree has won two national awards for outstanding success on the Access to Higher Education course at Barton Peveril.
Rowan Edwards won the outstanding academic achievement category of the Laser Learning Awards Access Learner Prize after gaining distinction marks for all 60 parts of the course, which she completed in a single year.
A few weeks later Rowan was named runner-up in the Keith Fletcher Memorial Access to HE Award academic achievement category.
Now completing the first year of a degree in Occupational Therapy at Southampton University, Rowan (47) decided on a complete career change when considering her options after raising a family.
A course in holistic therapy whetted her appetite for a more academic insight to the caring professions so she began researching degree courses and the preparatory steps necessary to be considered for a place at university.
“Signing up for an Access course is the first step and the biggest one of all because it means you really want to go on to study further,” says Rowan.
“It’s been really good for my girls to see me doing this, though trying to fit all the elements of life in has been the hardest thing.”
Rowan took modules in Health Studies, Psychology, Biology and Sociology and was offered places on all the university courses she applied for. This summer will see her sit her first year exams at the same time as her two teenage daughters take their GCSEs and A Levels.
“The Adult Learning team at Barton Peveril are really helpful and want each individual student to succeed and get their qualification,” she says.
“Going there was definitely the right decision for me and receiving these awards is a great surprise and a real honour.”
Rowan was presented with the Keith Fletcher Memorial Award at a ceremony in the Houses of Parliament.