A married couple from Bradford had double the reasons to celebrate earlier this month as they both received their honorary degrees from Bradford College on the same day.
Salhia Ahmed, and her husband Sohail Mayat, graduated from the higher education establishment on the 11th December in front of friends and family at St George’s Hall.
The couple received their accolades after studying for a total of three years each, with Mr Mayat receiving a First class degree in Marketing and Sales, and Mrs Ahmed, being awarded a Second-Class First Division degree in Law.
It was a proud day for the whole family when the couple accepted the certificates and both partners said the success would not have been possible without their ‘other half’.
“If it wasn’t for Salhia then I wouldn’t have taken up education again,” Mr Mayat said. “I had all but given up on college when she started studying and it got me interested in following up on my degree so I did just that.
“Because of her I came back to my work and, with more appreciation of the actual workplace, I was able to focus more and topped all my modules in the final two years.”
Mr Mayat had started his degree seven years ago yet dropped out after his first year to focus on a self-employed career.
Despite some success, the father of two opted to take up his studies once more after his wife began her course at Bradford College, studying law.
“It was her enthusiasm towards gaining her qualification that ultimately made me think it’s time for another go at this. I even gave her a mention in my acknowledgements in the final dissertation because without her I wouldn’t have gone back.”
Mrs Ahmed began her course later than most students, as she cared for her two twin boys until they were 18 months before returning to education. Taking up a law degree at Bradford College was a tough decision for the 26-year-old but one she is happy to have made.
“I am really happy that I did the course and even though it was hard to balance at times in regard to family, it is something I am really proud to have done,” she said.
The couple’s achievements also act as a reminder to all aspiring students that it is never too late to begin studying.
“You are never too old to take it up,” Mr Mayat said. “We were fortunate in a way that we had each other to lean on but I really do recommend it to everyone. At the end of the day, it is often only 13 hours a week, and perhaps only five weeks in the year which require complete dedication.”
Mrs Ahmed added: “I have a lot of friends who have now gone into studying because of our example. There was this one mum in particular that started recently because she wasn’t even aware of the option which would allow her to balance education with her family life.
“The fact we could influence somebody this way was amazing and we always say that we recommend it.”