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Ex-UTV anchorwoman Lynda Bryans makes the news with degree in teaching

By Rebecca Black

Published 01/07/2016

Lynda Bryans in her robes after being awarded a PGCE in education from the Ulster University
Lynda Bryans in her robes after being awarded a PGCE in education from the Ulster University

Television presenter turned college lecturer Lynda Bryans says she has caught the study bug after graduating from university in her early 50s,

The wife of UUP leader Mike Nesbitt was awarded a PGCE in education (further education) from the Ulster University at a ceremony in the Waterfront Hall.

She studied the course part- time alongside her job as a lecturer in media at Belfast Metropolitan College and says she now has plans to pursue a Masters degree.

Lynda's parents and two sons were there to cheer her on yesterday during her graduation, and she revealed they had plans for a celebratory dinner.

"I have been studying for the past two years part-time along with my work at Belfast Met, where I teach some TV and journalism," she said.

"I was on at my students about them handing in assignments, then I would also be worrying about handing in my own assignments.

"It was interesting getting back into studying after so long, although it was difficult to manage it all because teaching is full-on, it is like an express train coming at you and then suddenly it is all over when it comes to summer time."

It was very nearly a double graduation for the family as Lynda's eldest son PJ had been due to graduate with a degree in law from the Queen's University this year.

"He would have been graduating but he chose to do a placement year in the US, so he'll be graduating next year," she explained.

Lynda started her media career working for UTV as a copy typist, before moving to the BBC where she eventually became a newsreader.

"I didn't do university back then, I went to college for two years where I did a secretarial course which included shorthand, typing and accounting - I didn't realise how useful shorthand would become in my career," she said.

"It all sort of came around.

"But this is my first university graduation - imagine graduating at my age.

"There is a great sense of satisfaction in doing this when you are older because you know you are doing it because you really want to, and what I have learned I can really put into practice."

Lynda has been working as a lecturer at Belfast Met for the last four years.

She was full of praise for the support the college had shown her in her studies.

"I have done more in terms of personal development over the last few years at Belfast Met than my entire career to date," she said.

"They really live up to that life-long learning concept - not only did they fund my studies, but they supported me."

She added that she planned to do a Masters, but said first she wanted to take a year off.

"I just need to give myself a year to recover first," she said.

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