Blind singer to help others thanks to UCLan law degree

12 July 2023

International student Jane Constance wants to improve conditions for people with disabilities

A singing sensation, who swapped Mauritius for Preston, wants to use her new University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) law degree to help improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Jane Constance, who won the children’s version of France’s The Voice in 2015 and release two albums, was born blind. She has experienced difficulties and overcome adversity both growing up on the island in the Indian Ocean and travelling to study in the UK, but is now striving to help others in a similar position.

The 22-year-old, who will start on UCLan’s MSc Human Resources Management course in September, said: “When I was young my dream was to be an advocate for disabled people in Mauritius because there are no laws to help them or offer them protection.

“Since studying law, I’ve realised I could really make a difference in the area of human resources as I enjoyed studying company and employment law and know from my personal experience how equality, diversity and inclusion are really important.”

Jane came to study in Preston in 2019 after finding out about UCLan through one of the University’s academic partners in Mauritius. She undertook a one-year law foundation course and progressed on to the three-year LLB (Hons) programme.

"It’s been a long four years at times and I’ve had to put a lot of hard work into studying law but I’m really happy and excited for the next chapter in my life"

New graduate Jane Constance

She said: “I knew I wanted to study in the UK and when I researched into it, UCLan was one of the only universities which offered inclusive support. That was really important to me because, as an international student, I wasn’t able to access any of the disabled students’ allowance and support that UK students can apply for. I was fortunate I had wellbeing ambassadors, and subsequently friends, who helped me navigate around the campus and city. I’ve also been able to help the University understand how their systems, like the one to submit my work, need to be compatible with my braillenote.”

The UNESCO Artist for Peace, who worked as a student ambassador, was a member of the Student Council, created UCLan’s Singing Society, and recently won the Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership gold award for her contribution to the Students’ Union, had to return home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jane commented: “I was enjoying living independently in student accommodation in Preston and then Covid happened. I had to go back home and it wasn’t easy to study with the time difference but I was determined to complete my studies.”

Her parents flew over from Mauritius to see her don her academic cap and gown and walk across the stage in UCLan’s transformed Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre. She added: “It’s been a long four years at times and I’ve had to put a lot of hard work into studying law but I’m really happy and excited for the next chapter in my life.”

Jane Constance
Jane Constance