A former student at Edmund Rice College is calling on other young people to consider going to university in England after he graduated earlier this year.
Paul Lawlor (25) graduated from the University of Cumbria with a BA (Hons) in Primary Education with qualified teacher status (QTS) in July.
Since graduating, he’s been on the road around Northern Ireland talking about his experiences at university and inspiring prospective students.
The Belfast-born man recently paid a visit to his former school in Glengormley to resent higher education options.
Paul said: “After three fantastic years studying at the University of Cumbria, I was not yet ready to leave. I felt I owed something to an institution that provided me with so many opportunities.
“Going back to local schools and colleges to raise pupils’ aspirations and informing them of opportunities available at Cumbria is something I am passionate about.”
Before choosing to study with the university, Paul worked as a teaching assistant for three years at Holy Cross Boys’ Primary School, Belfast.
While there, he worked with three teachers who had all graduated from the University of Cumbria and he was impressed with their knowledge and skills.
He added: “I met students gaining their QTS through the under graduate and PGCE routes offered by the university, and after seeing the results of the teacher training offered it was a no brainer for me to enrol.
“Coming from a large family - I’m the oldest of seven - home is very important to me so I wanted to study somewhere close to Belfast but also have that independence.
“There are numerous modes of transport to travel back home; bus, ferry, train and flights all at reasonable prices, which is important when being a student.
“Additionally, when the new Carlisle Airport begins passenger flights in 2019 it will be even easier for students to make the journey.”
For more details, go to www.cumbria.ac.uk/northernireland