Case Study- Diane Teeling


Be prepared for blood, sweat and tears, mother of three Diane Teeling warns prospective student parents – but she wouldn’t want to put them off.








Diane is studying a combined degree in Comparative and English Literature part-time, and and has completed the first half of the diploma stage. She left school with ‘O’ levels and CSEs. After studying for an HNC in Business Studies at night school she then had various jobs, including working as a Fraud Liaison Officer for the Unemployment Benefit Office.

She decided to go back into education as she felt she was losing her identity and not using her brain. ‘I am also dyslexic, which was not discovered until later in life, but explained why I found certain things difficult. So this was to prove to myself that I am not as slow and stupid as I’d always thought!’

Diane’s children are 21, 17 and 14. She says they do support her but tend to forget to give her the study time she needs. ‘You have to put your children first,’ she says, ‘and sometimes it is hard to juggle all the balls at once while on your unicycle on the tightrope. I would have found it very difficult to do a full time degree.’

Diane’s husband is supporting her financially as she supported him through his further education. Her part-time job buys her books. ‘My husband works away, so emotional-wise it has sometimes been very difficult,’ she says, ‘especially if a family crisis occurs. The students I study with offer each other support, but I sometimes think that as we are studying part-time in an outreach centre away from the university, we don’t get as much help and support or feel part of the university community, especially when we have to juggle, family, house, work and study together.’

However, Diane says she doesn’t regret starting her degree course and would do it again. ‘I would tell other parents to think really hard before they make the commitment. But I feel the final reward of knowing you have accomplished something for yourself is worth it.’

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