Leigh is a Future Finance customer who has recently completed his Master’s degree in Education at the University of Exeter after three years of hard work.
We chat to Leigh about his Master’s, what he thinks are the biggest challenges students face today and his favourite part of being at university.
What was your main motivation to study a Master’s degree?
Over the course of my Master’s programme, I was able to critically engage with current research in order to improve my capacity as a primary school teacher. It is important for me to be open to new teaching and learning styles in order to enthuse and inspire future generations.
Education really is the most effective way of improving social mobility and improving life chances for everyone. It is true that if you can help a child achieve a positive attitude to learning, then they will also likely have improved their life chances. I personally have carried this through my life, which has resulted in me recently completing my Master’s.
What do you think is the biggest challenge students face nowadays?
In my opinion, it’s being able to afford housing fees and living costs. A select proportion of students have help from family towards the costs, but I really feel for the people like me, who had next to no family financial help (through no fault of their own). Many people in this position have not had much experience with budgets, so managing money can be a big challenge.
In my case, my Future Finance loan came at the perfect time and allowed me to finish my studies. Without it, it is fair to say, I would have been unable to complete my Master’s. I would wholeheartedly recommend Future Finance to others, they are tailored towards students – without high interest rates and with reasonable repayment schedules.
What was the best thing about university for you?
The best part about university is the friends you make along the way. Making lifelong friends is almost certain. My friends and I from undergraduate ten years ago still keep in contact every day!
What is the best advice you’d give to current students?
Best advice I could give to students just starting out is to join societies, clubs and activities around your classes. Get to know as many people as possible. Meeting so many new people can be daunting and you won’t get along with them all, but it is also incredibly liberating and rewarding. Also, make sure to make time for yourself – that is important.
How would you describe your generation?
I would describe my generation as being fortunate in many ways (but unfortunate in others). We are fortunate to have more opportunities to attend university and more options to fund it. We are however less fortunate in that we will retire later than our predecessors (generally speaking). To sum up, I consider my generation unafraid to speak up for what they believe in, willing to take the necessary calculated risks and having an increased awareness of the future of our planet.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I ran my first ultramarathon 100K from Brighton to London and acted as a pacesetter for the world’s largest half marathon (Great North Run), meeting and having a photo with Sir Mo Farah in the process!