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    ‘I waited 30 years to go university’ says award-winning Essex graduate

    A student from Essex who had waited over 30 years to go to university picked up a degree and an award for ‘academic engagement’ at an occasion that took place at Easton & Otley College.

    60-year-old Maureen Gibson from Harwich received this recognition at the annual graduation ceremony held in Norfolk.

    Maureen initially studied on a wildlife and conservation pathway at the Otley campus before finishing her final year at Easton near Norwich where she gained a BSC landbased sciences ecology degree that is affiliated to the University of East Anglia.

    Maureen, said, “I tried to go to university at the age of 28 but I wasn’t able to. So, I’ve waited over 30 years to do this. I got the student experience and stayed in halls in between work assignments.

    “I was delighted to get my degree and chuffed to win the award. My friends and family are quite impressed.

    She finished by saying that she was going to ‘celebrate with a couple of bottles of fizz and a takeaway’.

    The principal of Easton and Otley College, Jane Townsend, said, “Congratulations to everyone on your achievements - you have made me incredibly proud. Well done to Maureen on her special accolade.”

    During this event, the chief executive of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (Greg Smith) received an honorary degree and Phoebe Russell (from Leamington Spa) received the overall student of the year prize.