A married couple Susan and John Lyons have graduated together from UHI Inverness.
The couple celebrated completing their respective studies at a ceremony at Eden Court.
Both are now pursuing their chosen fields and agreed that their time at the Highland university changed their lives.
‘It helped me find my voice’
Mrs Lyons didn’t feel she was smart enough to go to university at 18.
She has now completed her MSc in sustainable rural development through UHI Outer Hebrides and said it “helped [her] find [her] voice”.
The 58-year-old added: “My studies have changed my life. I might not get a long career from this – I’m 58, but I am getting to do a PhD which I never in a million years thought I would be able to do.”
Like many others who graduated on Thursday, she commended the tutors at UHI Inverness for supporting her through the course.
“Studying during Covid and trying to manage home schooling, my work and caring responsibilities whilst studying was very stressful, but my tutors never made a drama out of a crisis,” she said.
Next month, Mrs Lyons will begin her PhD with the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Every day is a school day
Now a probationary teacher at Raigmore Primary School, Mr Lyons was also supported by tutors at the university when he was struggling in his personal life.
He said: “The teaching and support was excellent. I had a challenging time, not just because of Covid, but because my father was ill. I had to pause the course for 11 months and ended up doing it over two years. My tutors were excellent, really, really supportive”
The 47-year-old said he loves his new job as a teacher because it means he keeps learning every day.
“I have a new career now and teaching is the ideal job for me, it suits our family life,” he said.
“I love working with children and the unique challenges of school life keeps me on my toes and ensures that even though I am done with university, for now at least, I am still learning.”