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First-class achievement for dad-of-two

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More than 4,000 students have graduated this week at Preston's Guild Hall

Determined student proves it’s never too late to learn

A determined mature student from Wigan, who has just graduated with a first-class honours degree, is hoping his own children will follow in his educational footsteps.

David Cook, 48 and father-of-two from Ashton-in-Makerfield, studied on the BEng (Hons) Mechanical Maintenance Engineering. He has now graduated with a first-class degree from the University of Central Lancashire and next year one of his daughters will graduate from university while the other will start at a local college.

“When I was at school I wasn’t the best listener and I’ve regretted it ever since,” he explained.  “In fact I’ve probably spent more time at night school than I did at secondary school. Education is so important and hopefully my children will learn from the mistakes I made.”

I always thought I’d like to have studied for a degree by the age of 50 and I was spurred on by the inspirational story of a woman who’d achieved the feat while suffering with cancer and looking after children.

David started his educational journey later in life when he studied for HNC and HND qualifications in mechanical engineering and achieved distinction grades across the board, studying subjects such as hydraulics, pneumatics and computer aided design.

He added: “I always thought I’d like to have studied for a degree by the age of 50 and I was spurred on by the inspirational story of a woman who’d achieved the feat while suffering with cancer and looking after children. I thought if she could do it then so can I. You’re never too old to learn.”

Even though he was a mature student David had no problem settling in. “To start I was a bit nervous but I was determined to go for it. The lecturers were fantastic and it was a great experience,” he explained.

“I’ve worked in engineering for 20 years but studying for this degree has really helped to bring theory and practice together.

“Now I’ve graduated I’m going to concentrate on the day job and consolidate my knowledge but who knows, in the future, the learning bug might return!”


Dad-of-two David Cook

Chris Theobald | 14 July 2017