Joyce, 73, hailed an inspiration as oldest student at Fife College to graduate

A 73 year-old woman from Kirkcaldy has been hailed as an inspiration after graduating from Fife College.

Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 1:41 pm

Joyce Laird joined hundreds of students at the recent ceremonies as she received her Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) in social services for children and young people.

She was the oldest student to have graduated in her year, and was encouraged to take on her studies after being told that there was 'no age limit on education'.

The pupil support worker from Fife started the course as part of her professional development, but is now considering other qualifications that might help her in her career.

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Joyce Laird on her graduation day

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Joyce managed to complete her studies despite them being severely disrupted by illness, after she was diagnosed with pneumonia which required several hospital visits towards the end of 2019.

She was then required to shield after the outbreak of the pandemic, and said that without the support of her assessors and family she doubts she would have been able to complete the course.

Joyce said: “I started the course in September 2019 and shortly afterwards I was taken into hospital with pneumonia.

Joyce at the graduation ceremony

"By the time I got out, Covid had reared its ugly head and I had to shield for practically the remainder of the year, but between the support of my assessor, Carol, and my husband Robert, I got there in the end.

"When I started I thought I was too old for college, but my teachers kept telling me that there's no age limit to education.

"You're learning forever if you want to, so that's why I decided to continue with the course and I also passed thank goodness!

"My family are so proud of me, and I'm proud of myself too really because it was really hard work getting here.”

Dr High Hall, college principal described her as an inspiration, adding: “Despite periods of ill health and the pandemic, she successfully completed her course with the support of family and the college team.”He added: "It really does show that college is for all age groups, and that learning can be fun and stimulating at any age.