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Lisa Jones-Brook

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I come from a working-class background and I am 52 years old. I have five children and have worked or raised my children for the last 30 years. I have previous work qualifications but had not been in full-time formal education for years, until I came to the University of Leeds.

What motivated you to apply to study for a foundation course and why did you choose Leeds?

I had always wanted to fulfil my dream of getting a degree, as I enjoyed learning and felt like I had missed out, due to family circumstances, when I was younger. When my children became old enough, and began to do degrees of their own, I knew it was my time. I chose Leeds because of its excellent reputation and the foundation course seemed an ideal place to start my journey.

What do you think of your course, have there been any particular highlights for you?

I have loved my course. The teaching is first class and the lecturers are brilliant. They have always been so helpful and willing to sit down and listen to any concerns I may have had. In the School of Sociology and Social Policy there is such a sense of community too. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

How have you found the online learning so far?

The quality of teaching is first class and the lecturers have really stepped up to ensure that our education can continue at a high level. I feel that the ongoing pandemic has made this year really hard though, and although the staff are doing all they can, students will invariably have suffered.

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?

The school has always been very helpful and address any issues quickly and efficiently. The staff always have time for students and genuinely care about our education and well-being. I could not have got this far without the care and guidance of the teaching and support staff.

How would you describe the facilities at the University?

The facilities are first class, although we are obviously unable to use them at the moment. The Ziff café used to be my second home.

Since starting at the university have you been granted any scholarships?

I have been awarded a scholarship from the Plus Programme and have been asked to be a scholarship ambassador for them.

Have you been involved in extra-curricular activities?

I have been a one to one mentor for the Plus Programme and a group mentor for the foundation year within the School of Sociology and Social Policy. I am currently also preparing to be a member of a focus group for the foundation year.

Any other comments you would like to make?

Overall, my experience at Leeds University has been a positive one, with only the pandemic ruining what was up to then, a great experience. I cannot thank the teaching staff enough though; they have been exceptional.