Bad food and books

January 30, 1998

A report on students on the Scottish Wider Access Programme, an alternative route to higher education for adults without traditional qualifications, includes first-hand accounts of students' experiences.

But the truth about the scheme's impact on family life comes from Emma Docherty, aged 11: "When my Mum went to college I hated it. She was always in the bedroom revising and studying. The first year was even worse. We hardly ever saw Mum plus eating burgers, fishfingers and easy-cook microwave meals every night wasn't very nice at all.

"When she started her second year it was a lot better. For one thing she was a lot happier and didn't shout so much. We had nice meals for a change and she made lots of new friends. I made friends with their children too. We all went on holiday to Whitley Bay together as well - that was good fun. The graduation was OK but a bit boring. I think my Mum is really clever but I think she is stupid for leaving school. She could have went to university when she was young and got a good job but I am proud of her anyway."

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