Mum follows example set by her son to attend University

A Staffordshire woman has demonstrated that it’s never too late to learn after graduating with a first class degree

Kerry Ann Hemans in her graduation gown holding her cap in the air

Kerry has graduated with a first class degree in Health and Social care

Never put a limit on you, you will achieve it. I have done it, so just know that you can do it if you believe in yourself!

Kerry Ann Hemans, BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care

Originally from Jamaica, Mum-of-four Kerry Ann Hemans had her first child when she was eighteen before moving to the UK.

She was motivated to return to education whilst working in a care home during the Covid pandemic and enrolled on the BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care at Staffordshire University.

Kerry, 42, from Uttoxeter said: “My son went to university and we made a pact, that when he completed his degree I would apply to university myself.

“Covid happened and the course that I chose to study was even more needed. I’ve always wanted to give back and help others. To give that support and care to people who deserve it and need it.”

Kerry continued to work full-time alongside her studies, keeping her degree a secret from extended family.

“After over 20 years of not being in a classroom, academic study was completely new to me, all the terminologies frightened me, and I questioned myself.

“Then I remember one question that was asked by my lecturer: “what is my ‘why’?” It was at that moment I decided my ‘why’ – to fulfil a promise I had made to myself of going back to school after becoming a teenage mom.

“The lecturers were amazing and so understanding of my situation. I can’t rave about them enough!”

When Kerry eventually revealed to family that she was at university in her final year, it came as a huge surprise. Then at her graduation ceremony Kerry delivered the student vote of thanks in front of hundreds of guests, including her family.

“This journey was personal to me and was something I wanted to prove to myself. My mom, my dad, my sister - they didn't know about it. When I told my extended family, especially my mom, they were just crying!” she commented.

Having graduated with first class honours, Kerry plans to do a Masters in Public Health and has long-term ambitions to open a care home for the black and ethnic minority community alongside her sister who is a mental health nurse.

“I am going to be 43 this year and I’ve just achieved my degree. Never put a limit on you, you will achieve it. I have done it, so just know that you can do it if you believe in yourself!”

Find out if you are eligible for an offer through Clearing by using our Offer Generator and have a ‘live chat’ with current students at or call our Clearing hotline on 0800 590 830.

Latest news

Image of female speaking on stage

TEDx talks shared on global platform

Topics ranging from the future of antibiotics to sex education are covered in a new series of video being shared on the global TEDx platform.

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021