Tim Holyoake

Tim Holyoake
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My name's Tim. I'm 50, live and work in Derby, am happily married (since 1988) and have two beautiful grown-up daughters who are in their early 20s. I've been blogging away quietly at www.tenpencepiece.net since 2008 covering a diverse range of topics, but with a bias towards the joys and woes of being a mature student. Post40bloggers is a welcome addition to my world as it's always great to receive encouragement, ideas and challenges from friends who also love blogging, yet have their own unique perspective on life. I'm looking forward to sharing my passion for lifelong learning with this community as well as hearing your stories. I hope that those of you who haven't been bitten by the lifelong learning bug (yet!) feel suitably enthused and motivated to try something for yourself. Learning definitely isn't only for the young ...
University students studying
One of the posts that I most enjoyed reading last month was written by Lois, called 5 Things You Actually Need to Survive University. Her advice seems sound to me, so if you’re looking for things that might be useful to you as a fresher you really should go...
Classroom and part-time learning
A copy of the 2015 edition of the Open University’s magazine “OpenMinds – for enquiring alumni” was waiting for me when I arrived home this evening. There’s some great content in it – for example, articles on the Philae Lander, driverless cars and research into social exclusion, all of...
Man reading book
In August last year I wrote a blog post for the University of Leicester - "This is not goodbye".
Charles Kennedy
I only met Charles Kennedy once. It was in 1986 at the Erewash SDP Christmas Party held in the (long gone) Co-operative banqueting suite in Long Eaton, where he was our guest speaker. The event is now so long ago that I don’t remember what he said, but I...
Long distance learner motorway board
I’ve recently been sent an email by a prospective OU student asking a number of interesting questions about my experiences of studying. Rather than simply reply to the email, I thought the questions and answers might make for an interesting blog post and also allow others to talk about...
Frustrated man with tablet
At the height of the tuition fees debacle, I seriously considered leaving the Liberal Democrats. At one time, I even considered joining the Labour Party. Yes, I was that annoyed/frustrated/angry – but it didn’t take too much thinking for me to come to the conclusion that being in the...
Downing Street street sign
So I thought I’d try half a dozen different search terms that someone interested in policies for lifelong learning might use and see what they turned up. Having failed to engage any of the five political parties through twitter on the subject of lifelong learning and what their policies might be, the...
P40B - adult graduate pointing finger
After I wrote about the fall in OU student numbers for a fourth consecutive year last Saturday, I decided to see if I could get a reaction from the five largest (by membership) UK-wide political parties by asking them about their policies for promoting lifelong learning. My first attempt was...
Old photographs and memories
Going through my parent’s house over the last few months has taken ages. They’d lived there since 1963 until my father died at the end of 2007. Mum had subsequently lived there alone until she needed to go into a nursing home in 2013. Now that they’re both gone,...
Mortar board, studying books, diploma
The latest statistical first release from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) was made on 15th January. New part-time enrolments (often, but not always, mature students) have fallen by 8% across the whole sector, adding to a 15% decline from the previous year. New full-time enrolments have increased by 1%. Table 10...
Dr Richard Smith
Ever since my diagnosis with lymphoma last summer, I’ve tried to stay away from press coverage about cancer. This is because most of the time it’s pretty poorly reported and I’ve found it far more helpful to refer to the information provided by my consultant, specialist charities and peer-reviewed...
Mature graduate student
The government's Autumn Statement included a long anticipated announcement about loans for students wishing to take a master's degree. At present, anyone wishing to study at this level in the UK has to make their own funding arrangements. From the 2016/17 academic year, government-backed loans of up to £10,000...