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Exceptional adult learners rewarded for hard work

Date: 31 August 2004

Exceptional adult learners rewarded for hard work

Life as an adult learner isn’t easy. Many have family and other work commitments to juggle with writing essays and going to class. But for three adult learners, a bit of extra financial relief has come their way.

To celebrate Adult Learners’ Week / He Tangata Mâtauranga, Waikato University has awarded three exceptional adult learners $1000 each. Chosen for the awards are Dara Dimitrov from Hamilton (right of photo), Heather Holmes of Cambridge and Ronald Ngata from Whitikahu.

Despite the pressures, returning to study has a great experience for all three winners. Says Ronald: “It’s been great; we just keep on surprising ourselves.”

“It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten A’s,” agrees Heather. “On the first Monday I started uni I felt I was out of my depth, but five days later on Friday, you couldn’t have made me leave.”

The three winners all agree that the support Waikato University provides them has helped them with their studies. “The support enables you to learn,” explains Dara. “We didn’t know how to study but the systems in place were really fabulous”.

All of the winners are planning on continuing with postgraduate or honours study. Heather’s reason for staying on at university is to keep building her self-confidence. “I’m not quite finished with this lovely feeling of knowing I can do well.” Ronald agrees: “The longer I stick with it the more confident I feel at university.”

Adults Learners’ Week was developed after UNESCO’s Fifth International Conference of Adult Education in Hamburg in 1997. The week aims to celebrate, encourage and promote the importance of adult learning to the wider community. The 6th – 12th of September is Adult Learners’ Week.


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