When David Dunleavey painted the outside of the School of Philosophical and Anthropological Studies he never dreamed he would soon be sitting inside exploring some of the oldest and deepest questions the human mind has raised.
Yet incredibly, within a year, David had matriculated as a student at the University of St Andrews and was seated inside the19th century building ‘Edgecliffe’, gazing out onto St Andrews Bay while pondering questions such as ‘is there a God?’
David (40), a former painter and decorator from Methil was amongst those graduating at the University of St Andrews this week (Wednesday 25th June, 2003). David embarked upon an MA (Hons) in Philosophy 4 years ago after going back to college to study for an Access Course at Elmwood College, which included study to Higher level in English, Maths, History, Psychology and Philosophy. After successfully passing the course, David was accepted into St Andrews through the University’s Access Centre, which aims to provide opportunities for all potential applicants with the academic ability to succeed.
St Andrews has forged special links with Elmwood and other local Further Education Colleges, and sets aside a number of guaranteed places each year for those Access students who complete their course at an appropriate level.
David was born in Methill, but has been living in St Andrews for the last thirteen years. He left Kirkland High School in Methill in 1979 with no qualifications and went straight into a job in welding, but within 2 years had moved into painting and decorating. He is well known locally, having worked extensively at the Leuchars airbase and latterly, he began working for himself.
In 1998, David decided to go back to study, and enrolled at Elmwood College in Cupar.
Reflecting upon his time at St Andrews, David said:
“It has been a very good experience for me coming to St Andrews. When I painted the Philosophy building five years ago, I remember looking at the sign on the door which said ‘Logics and Metaphysics’ and thinking to myself ‘what on Earth is that?’ It’s quite unbelievable that I ended up there.”
After graduating today, David intends to take up a qualification in teaching and hopes to teach Philosophy at Further Education colleges in Dundee and Perth.
“I have no intention of going back to painting and decorating now,” he said, “except maybe for my mother”
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