71-year-old graduates from North West Regional College

Anne Loveday graduation
Image caption Mrs Loveday has added another higher national diploma to her CV

When it comes to mature students, Anne Loveday would be regarded as vintage.

The 71-year-old has just completed a higher national diploma at the North West Regional College in Londonderry - her second qualification in four years.

The former teacher, who lost her husband Colin seven years ago, said it was "about having a goal and somewhere to go".

She said being the oldest in the class gave her a certain standing.

Classmates would often come to her for advice and she believed it was because they respected her life experiences.

They would regularly meet up for "tea club" between lectures.

"We would drink tea and discuss anything from politics to human behaviour," she said.

"I found them very stimulating really because obviously they were interested in completely different things to me."

Image caption Mrs Loveday also has a diploma in fine art and regularly paints in her studio

Mrs Loveday, who has two children and lives in Inishowen, County Donegal, took her first diploma in fine art and the more recent qualification is in textile design.

She has developed great friendships and keeps in contact with many of her classmates.

Age should not deter anyone in wanting to further educate themselves, she said.

"If you're interested in something go for it, go along to the open days and see what there is on offer.

"Don't be worried by the fact you may be the oldest, I didn't."

Not one to sit still for too long, Mrs Loveday is now attending a weekly pottery class on Tuesday evenings.

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