Three OU students who are all members of the same family (daughter, husband and dad)

'Dad kept saying why not do the OU? So I did'

Yvonne Quaintrell had a rough time and school and didn’t do well. But it wasn’t until she became a parent that she found herself so motivated by her dad that she decided to sign up too. And now it’s become a family affair.

Yvonne was inspired to study with the OU by her father Harry, an OU graduate: "Reputation had a lot to do with why I chose the OU,” she says. “I’d watched my dad doing it and he’d always encouraged me to think about it. I have a strong memory of seeing him in his little study where he always seemed to be working very hard.

Thanks to my dad I already had a very good impression of the OU before I signed up. He always said it was the best and spoke highly of its resources. I probably bang on about the OU now in the same way my dad did.

"He was the first one in his family to get a degree and encouraged everyone else to do the same. Three of us in one family have now done degrees with the OU. It’s a family affair.”

Yvonne’s first attempts at education hadn’t gone well: she was bullied at school, later dropping out of college. Several years later, after the birth of her son, she went back to college with a career in childcare in mind but struggled to fit classes around her life as a single parent.

“I’d always wanted to do a degree so I started one with another college doing it in the evenings. By then I’d divorced and become a single mum and it just didn't work. I really struggled to get babysitters so it was far too difficult to keep up. I was only there a couple of months before I left.

'It’s easy to see why it can become addictive'

“All this time my dad kept saying why not do the OU? So I did.”

And when Yvonne remarried part-way through her OU studies, she inspired her new husband to sign up too.

“He was really supportive and he already a degree in psychology. Seeing me study and seeing how flexible it was, inspired him to sign up with the OU to do his Masters.”

Now a fully-fledged graduate with a MSc in Psychology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Forensic Psychological Studies and BSc (Hons) Social Sciences to her name, Yvonne is reaping the benefits with a successful career teaching childhood studies and early years courses at college.

“Taking my degree with the OU has really broadened my horizons. It’s given me more options of what I can teach and I plan to continue with my studies. I’m a real education junkie now. It’s easy to see why it can become addictive. It’s so flexible and fits so easily around your life. It’s not like committing to evening classes all the time which can become bit of a bind."