Mature student paints a new path

21st November 2019

A mature student at Solihull College & University Centre is thriving on her art course after taking the leap back into education now her family has grown up.

Vanessa Pritchard, 55 from Solihull, has a background in HR & Pensions and more recently as a teaching assistant. After her daughter went off to university she decided it was time to do something for herself. She has enrolled on the UAL Diploma in Art & Design – Foundation Studies, which is a pivotal qualification which provides a transition from general education allowing students to specialise in art and design.

Vanessa comments: “I decided now was the time for me and I really wanted to focus on my love for art. I walked around campus and got a feel for the place. My colleagues at my job encouraged me too. I really love the space at the College and I even come in early and relax before class. I’m really proud to be a mature student.”

Abstract painting is Vanessa’s favourite subject within her studies and she offers her own unique perspective on mature learning: “Adult education is amazing. Don’t regret it, go with your gut. This is a different chapter for me. It has already been life changing. It is the best thing I’ve done in the last ten years. You’re never too old for this.”

Vanessa’s course will last a year and she hopes to progress on to study a Fine Art degree in the future. Going forward, her future prospects in the art world are looking promising: “I have not regretted pushing myself out of my comfort zone. What do you have to lose?”

Art student sat with work at a desk
Find out more about the College's Art courses: Art