Masters graduate inspires new generation of students to continue their studies


Mature student Donna Cleaver began her studies at UWTSD in 2014 on the BA Sociology course. After a difficult start in education, she felt she had missed out in her formative years and disengaged from learning, but wanted to be a role model for her three children.

With family commitments and a full-time role working with young people at risk of homelessness, Donna managed to balance her career and family with studies, and was thrilled to receive her degree. She was also overwhelmed to have won the Advocacy, Sociology, Equity and Diversity Bursary for 2022.

Donna said: “I felt nervous commencing the course, worried that I would be out of my depth. It had been over 14 years since I left education and I had little confidence in my academic ability. There was nothing to worry about though. The lecturers on the programme were very supportive, friendly, and knowledgeable, making my three years on the course enjoyable. I learned so much during this time, and my degree shaped me as a person and enhanced my employability. Since graduating from my Bachelors in 2017, I have been employed as a Welfare Adviser in higher education, providing advice and support to students on their own academic journey.”

Completing the degree ignited Donna’s interest in study and research, leading her to return to university to study for MA Equity and Diversity in Society and is a proud graduate at the Carmarthen Campus this year.

Dr. Caroline Lohmann-Hancock Associate Professor at UWTSD said: "We are proud to celebrate Donna's success in her studies. She is fully committed to equity and social justice and links her dissertation focus to practice. We are also proud that she was the winner of the Advocacy, Sociology, Equity and Diversity Bursary this year. We look forward to working towards her applying for the PhD in Social Justice with us for 2023."

Donna is looking forward to continuing her learning journey with a PhD and praised the commitment and encouragement from academics for enabling her pathway to success at university, stating “I cannot think of anywhere else I would rather study”.

Further Information

Llinos McVicar BA (Hons), MA, AFHEA, ACIM
Principal Communications and PR Officer Alumni
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