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A mature student studying for a part-time evening degree at the University of St Andrews has been rewarded for the dedication she has demonstrated over the last year.

Master of Arts student Mrs Jennifer Gray, is the second recipient of the Fife Council Convener’s Prize, and has been singled out for her achievements in the 2001-02 session. Mrs Gray follows in the footsteps of 79 year old Mrs Elma Cheetham, who won last year.

The part-time evening class initiative, which was launched in 2000, is aimed at adults over the age of 21 who would like to study for a degree. Depending on prior qualifications and whether the student prefers to study one or two evenings a week, a General MA degree can be obtained within 3 to 8 years. Next year will see the first cohort of part-time students graduate.

Jennifer, a single parent with two children from Fife, was one of the first students to enroll in the evening degree course in September 2000. She studied English in her first year before taking up Mediaeval Scottish History, Modern History, Human Biology and Physics & Astronomy in her second year.

Jennifer, who hopes to graduate in 2005, said:

“At various intervals after leaving school I had considered going to University, but circumstances along the way dictated against this. When I started the degree two years ago, I wanted to establish long term employment prospects, which would help me to re-enter the job market with a qualification.”

Jennifer was formally honoured at a reception in St Andrews last night, which was attended by Fife Council’s Deputy Convener, Mr Andrew Paterson, the University’s part-time degree co-ordinator, Nicky Haxell, Vice-Principal for Teaching, Professor Keith Brown and the Dean of Arts, Dr Christopher Smith.

Part-time degree co-ordinator Nicky Haxell said:

“Jennifer realises the value of the degree as a stage in her own personal and intellectual development. Having been out of the classroom for over 20 years, she quickly found her feet in her first year, and has thrived in her second. Jennifer has proved herself to be a hard working student and is an active participant in class discussion sessions.”

The reception was also attended by the 37 matriculating students, beginning the part-time degree this year.

Students returning to study after a gap are eased back into the way of things with a specially- designed study skills programme at the start of the course. Various financial arrangements are also in place to help those on low incomes take advantage of this flexible academic programme.

Further information about the degree course can be obtained from Nicky Haxell, Part-time Degree Co- ordinator, Continuing Education, 66 North Street, St Andrews KY16 9AH, telephone 01334 462203.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews Contact Gayle Cook on 01334 467227, mobile 07900 050103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: Fife Convenors Prize 2002 pr 150802 View the latest University news at http://calvin.st- andrews.ac.uk/external_relations/ne ws.cfm

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