"I was nervous but very excited" Clearing helps mature student Dave bolster his career options

Returning to education and enrolling at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) through Clearing filled mature student Dave Morris with “giddy excitement”.

Having previously designed and installed security systems for close to a decade, the 32-year-old, from Leicester, sought to explore his enjoyment of electronics and dive deeper into the science behind building electronic equipment.

Dave Morris

He took up A-Level Maths and Physics while working as a security engineer and would go on to enrol at DMU to study Electronical Engineering after visiting the campus on an Open Day.

Dave said: “I was in my mid-twenties when I realised I wanted to broaden my career opportunities as I felt I had plateaued a little at work.

“I started looking at my options and came to an Open Day at DMU, as well as a handful of other universities, to give me a greater idea of what I needed to achieve in my results.

“Stepping onto campus at DMU impressed me. I was really inspired by that commitment to be open and approachable to all prospective students. Their passion for electronics really shone through

Previously unsure if he would be able to afford to study full-time, Dave decided not to commit to a firm or insurance choice on his UCAS application. However, a week before Results Day, the possibility of leaving his job to study full-time became a distinct reality as his wife earned a promotion at work.

Having received his results, Dave phoned the university’s Clearing team to enquire about the availability of the Electrical Engineering course. It would ultimately be a successful call.

Clearing is now open to prospective students and more information on the courses available can be found here.

He said: “Clearing was simple and easy. I spoke to a lovely chap called Mohammad on the phone, told him my grades and the course I wanted to enrol on and then he sent through all the information I needed to secure my place.

“I remember the job I was on when I made the call. It was a very grimy underground carpark and I was strapping in data cables up a ladder covered in exhaust fumes while I was essentially changing my life. It was a fantastic, surreal day.

“Coming to university was a big sacrifice for my wife, which I think inspired me to make the most out of the course and all the study materials. She was incredibly supportive of my studies and has fronted most of the unexpected costs – I’m extremely lucky.”

Despite fulfilling his ambition of getting into university, having to leave his firm and a job he enjoyed job to study full-time was “bittersweet” for Dave.

However, he settled into his course very quickly, making new friends as well as some useful electrical gadgets for his course.

“I think it was three or four weeks before I let on that I was in my late twenties,” Dave said. “It helped explain the dated references but settling into university wasn’t difficult as a mature student.

“It may be due to the number of degree apprenticeships across engineering or the jobs available after leaving school but there were several people like myself who had been in a job for a decade before finding that they wanted to learn more about the science behind the subject instead of just fixing things.”

Having been inspired to study at DMU through an Open Day, Dave decided that he would give back and work as a brand ambassador to help students that were interested in studying engineering courses.

But now, with his graduation date in sight, there’s extra cause for celebration as Dave secured a graduate role at Liverpool-based consultancy firm Arup.

“We know Liverpool quite well, my wife went to university there and we have a bunch of friends up there, so we were always looking for the opportunity to move up.”

Posted on Thursday 18 August 2022

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