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Mum achieves PhD dream

17 July 2014

Lyndsey Boardman

Determination leads to academic success.

A mum of one has triumphed against all odds to successfully complete her PhD despite having a limited academic background and having a baby during her studies.

Oyedolapo Ogunbiyi, a student at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) from Lagos, Nigeria, arrived in Preston in 2009 with a HND qualification in quantity surveying and has since risen up the academic ranks to be awarded a PhD.

Oyedolapo was originally sponsored by Yaba College of Technology in Lagos and UCLan to complete a one year top up degree in construction project management and graduated with a first class honours degree. She then enrolled onto a PhD looking at lean construction and despite having to take six months off to have a baby and then care for her daughter Mirabelle alone while her husband studied in America, Oyedolapo was successful in her studies.

She commented: “It’s been intense, challenging and rewarding. At times it was really hard to juggle being a mum with having to study but I had a lot of support from my tutors and managed to achieve my dream.”

“It’s been intense, challenging and rewarding. At times it was really hard to juggle being a mum with having to study but I had a lot of support from my tutors and managed to achieve my dream.”

Oyedolapo’s husband Oluwaseyi, who is studying for a PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Oklahoma, joined his wife and 2-year-old Mirabelle at Oyedolapo’s graduation ceremony.

She said: “My husband is very proud of me and it’s fitting that Mirabelle is here to see me graduate as she’s been with me throughout my PhD studies; we did it together.”

Oyedolapo will now return to Lagos after living in Preston for five years to lecture at Yaba College of Technology.

She added: “I’ve made a lot of friends during my time in Preston who were very supportive and helped me during the challenging times.”