19 April 2022
73 year-old Joyce Laird is celebrating completing her course at Fife College after graduating with a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in Social Services for Children and Young People.
Joyce was the oldest student to have graduated in her year from the College and was encouraged to take on her studies after being told that there was 'no age limit on education'.
The pupil support worker from Fife started the course as part of her professional development, but is now considering other qualifications that might help her in her career.
Joyce managed to complete her studies despite them being severely disrupted by illness, after she was diagnosed with pneumonia which required several hospital visits towards the end of 2019.
She was then required to shield after the outbreak of the Coronavirus, and said that without the support of her assessors and family she doubts she would have been able to complete the course.
Joyce Laird commented:
"I started the course in September 2019 and shortly afterwards I was taken into hospital with pneumonia.
"By the time I got out Covid had reared its ugly head and I had to shield for practically the remainder of the year, but between the support of my assessor Carol and my husband Robert, I got there in the end.
"When I started I thought I was too old for College, but my teachers kept telling me that there's no age limit to education.
"You're learning forever if you want to, so that's why I decided to continue with the course and I also passed thank goodness!
"My family are so proud of me, and I'm proud of myself too really because it was really hard work getting here.
"I loved my time at the college. I think there were seven assessments in total and when I got the last one back and I'd passed that I thought, you know, it's been worthwhile.
"I'll now have a look at what other courses are on offer that I think I can do."
Fife College Principal Dr Hugh Hall said:
“Joyce's story is an inspiration.
"Despite periods of ill health and the pandemic, she successfully completed her course with the support of family and the college team.
"It really does show that college is for all age groups, and that learning can be fun and stimulating at any age.
"It's never too late to consider starting a college course."