Joyce Leech Prize 2017

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Congratulations to student Sue Brearley, winner of the 2017 Joyce Leech Prize. Brearley, pictured right, accepted the prize from benefactor Joyce Leech.

The Joyce Leech Prize is awarded to the student on the Foundation Certificate in English Literature deemed by examiners to have been awarded the highest marks on their first year of the course. The Prize, named after benefactor Joyce Leech (a former student of the Foundation Certificate) is given to mark and celebrate Joyce's enjoyment of many years of Continuing Education. 

The Joyce Leech Prize takes the form of a cheque in the amount of £250, along with the gift of an appropriate book.

Said Sue, 'As someone returning to education after more than three decades, the Department for Continuing Education's Foundation Certificate has been a revelation. The teaching is outstanding - it's such a privilege to be learning from some of the best tutors in the country - and everyone has been so supportive and understanding about the challenges of juggling work and family whilst reading up to five books a week. Easily the most enjoyable part of the course so far has been the Shakespeare Summer School in September, when we were able to spend a whole week in Oxford and get the experience of full-time study.

'I had not heard about the Joyce Leech Prize and was surprised to be told after our first year exams that I had won an award. During summer school I was able to meet Joyce and was inspired by hearing about her own experiences in continuing education. She explained that she had given the prize to encourage students after the first year - it has certainly encouraged me to believe I can continue with my studies. I have just submitted my UCAS application and hope to begin a full-time university course this time next year.'

Sue is the fifth recipient of the Prize in four years. Previous years' winners are Susan Knights & Marie Harrison (2014), Virginia Todd (2015), Wendy Reeves-Wood (2016). Earlier years' winners have all gone onward in education: Susan and Marie went on to the MSt in Literature and Arts, Virginia went on to a BA at Southampton, and Wendy is about to start in the second year of the full-time BA in Oxford.

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Published 18 September 2017