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Graduation will be a family affair for the Faulkners with mum Lisa and daughter Stevie both collecting University of Wolverhampton awards this week.

The family, from Great Wyrley, will be getting spruced up for two ceremonies, both with the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing.

Stevie, 22, will be graduating with a BA (Hons) Childhood, Family and Education Studies on 15 September.

Meanwhile 46-year-old Lisa will collect a BSc Nursing Studies (Orthopaedic Care) on 18 September.

Their courses were based at the Walsall Campus, so the pair would share a lift into University on the days they were both in.

Stevie says: “On some days we would part ways when we got there to meet with friends but others if we were a little early, we would go and have a quick breakfast in the cafeteria, with mum’s friends joining us one by one at the table. 

“In my third year our lectures didn't happen at the same time so I never really saw mum and honestly, I missed bumping into her because when we were there it was just like meeting up with one of my Uni friends rather than meeting my mum.”

Lisa adds: "I have really enjoyed sharing such an important time in our lives together. We supported each other in ways such as proof reading each other's assignments and ensuring no mistakes in the dreaded Harvard reference system!

“We are a very close family, but the experience we shared at University has been something quite unique for us and has made the experience extra special. Although we will still support each other during our continued studies, I will miss meeting up with her for our morning tea in the campus cafeteria."

Stevie was attracted to the University as it is close to home, and also because of the strong employment rate for graduates, which is currently 96.3% six months after graduating. Meanwhile Lisa knew people who had studied at Wolverhampton and was aware it had a good reputation for course content and student support.

The pair faced different challenges during their studies. Lisa had been a nurse for almost 30 years and wanted to ensure her education was on a par with the younger nurses joining the profession with degrees. She says: “It was sometimes difficult to juggle full time work and family life with the challenges of producing high level assignments. This was made easier by the support of both my family and the tutors within the University.”

Daughter Stevie found her own lack of confidence a challenge at first, but this wasn’t a problem for long thanks to the support of her lecturers. “After speaking to various staff members, they made it so that I felt more at ease within lectures, offering one-to-one sessions if ever I felt I needed more help with the work. The amount of support they provided me with made my confidence grow and my experience at the University very enjoyable.”

Both mum and daughter have bright futures ahead of them, with Lisa planning to complete a Master’s and Stevie pursuing a PGCE and leadership qualifications to enable her to follow her dream of becoming a headteacher. And they are both positive about their experience at the University of Wolverhampton.

Lisa says: “I have found the whole experience very positive, gaining skills and knowledge that will benefit not only myself, but my patients and the organisation that I work for. The support of my tutor Mary has been both constant and consistent throughout the entire experience, her continued encouragement always gave me the belief that I could succeed.”

Stevie adds: “While it has obviously been fairly stressful at times, especially leading up to my dissertation deadline, my overall experience at the University of Wolverhampton has been very positive. For the past few years I have had opportunities to enhance my future with career development, been involved with promotions to encourage attendance of University activities, enjoyed events created by the Students’ Union and had support from lecturers throughout my time here. If given the opportunity I would gladly relive it all again.”

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