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Brenda Hardy

(Photograph) - Brenda Hardy, 78, says she has enjoyed a 'new lease of life' as a student among the dreaming spires.

Hers is the latest success story to come out of Ruskin college in Oxford which, with funding from the Learning and Skills Council, has been running the Ransacker programme for older students.

Ms Hardy, who left school with no qualifications, trained as a nurse at the age of 39. At Ruskin, she gained a degree-level qualification for her project on how hard it is for working-class women to get to the top. She was named Learner of the Year for 2005 by the accrediting body, ASET.

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