Degree celebrations round off 7 years' study at college

Leah Lansdown, Nadia Shakeel Sultan and Aneeta Kaur

Three students are celebrating finishing their degrees in childcare at Solihull College & University Centre. Working their up way right up from Level 1 to complete their BA Honours Top up Degrees, Aneeta, Leah and Nadia are now looking forward to the future.

Aneeta Kaur, Leah Lansdown and Nadia Shakeel Sultan all began their studies at the college in 2011 enrolling on a Level 1 BTEC Diploma in Caring for Children course. With their hard work and perseverance, all 3 students progressed through the levels to gain a place on the Foundation Degree in Early Years in 2015. Upon completing 2 years of the Foundation Degree, all went on to study a BA Honours Top Up Degree in Early Childhood Studies. They recently submitted their final Dissertations - a conclusion to 7 years of studying. Each of them has worked extremely hard to overcome various adversities in their lives along the way.

Leah Lansdown, 24, from Chelmsley Wood finished school with no qualifications, ‘I felt like everybody had given up on me’ she admits. She heard about the College from friends doing Travel & Tourism and decided to study childcare.

Leah states ‘I found the teaching so much more relatable at college, they talk to you on a different level. When I started on Level 1, I had tutors that really supported and championed me; I was diagnosed as Autistic with ADHD whilst at college,’ Leah states. ‘With the lack of family support I was on my own but my tutors were incredible and pushed me to continue’.  The support from the tutors and her own drive earned Leah her degree and she has just secured a job as a Learning Support Assistant supporting children with autism.

23 year old Nadia Shakeel Sultan, like Leah, found herself at a crossroads with her education in 2011. Nadia didn’t have a full secondary school education, attending for one year she managed to get one GCSE, a ‘D’ in English. She was extremely thankful to get a place and a chance to study at the College. I was really excited to get into education as I was really shy and quiet’ she adds.  ‘I had a great time and I made real progress’.

‘I always volunteered until I did my foundation degree then realised I could work and be paid and study at the same time’ Nadia admits. Nadia has studied 1 day at college and the rest of her time at a nursery in Spark Hill part time as a nursery practitioner. ‘If you prepare yourself for hard work and show determination to do it you will receive motivation from fellow students and teachers. It was really emotional saying goodbye when our time studying came to an end. I’d tell anyone in my shoes, be patient, the more you struggle, the more you succeed’.

‘I didn’t enjoy school’ Nadia’s classmate Aneeta Kaur adds, ‘but college pushed me more, it was a really great experience and it was really tough to say goodbye.  I found working independently a challenge at first’ she admits about her degree course, ‘but once I embraced it I really learned from it.’ Aneeta, who currently works as a carer, worked as a nursery manager while completing her college education and has decided she’d like to run her own nursery now she has completed her degree.