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From leaving school at 15 to getting a masters at 63
12:00pm Saturday 28th September 2013 in News
A GRANDFATHER of four, who left school at 15, has proved that you're never too late to go back to the classroom.
Graham Brinksman, from Fearnhead, swapped his work clothes for a gown and mortar board when he graduated from Ruskin College Oxford with a masters in public history.
The 63-year-old said: "I left school with no qualifications and I couldn't wait to leave.
"But when I was 53 I had a heart attack and I was off work for two years and then later lost my job but, as it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.
"I didn't want to stay on benefits so I thought I would go to college. As a trade unionist I had always been aware of Ruskin College and my illness gave me the opportunity to enrol as a student."
Signing up for a 12 month social history certificate, Graham quickly developed a taste for learning.
Graham said: "I really enjoyed it so I did a BA in social history at 61 and a masters at 63.
"It has been the best experience of my life apart from marrying my wife and having kids."
Graham's father died when he was 12 years old and, as one of nine siblings, he had no choice but to go straight to work when he left school.
The father of two, who worked briefly as a butcher before working in the leisure industry, is glad he gave studying a second chance and is proud of his masters and BA 2:1.
Graham said: "It has kept my mind occupied. It was more interesting this time around than when I left school in 1965."
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