Candidate for the position of Mature Students' Representative

Image for Dennis Relojo-Howell

Dennis Relojo-Howell

As mature students, we are more likely than the general student population to be from groups who are disadvantaged in higher education. Just like many of you, my progression was not linear. Life circumstances forced me to attend university as a mature student because I needed to save money for my fees and I had to support my family's finances.

Being a mature student is intertwined with my academic journey. I finished my undegraduate at 23; my MSc at 31. Now, at 38, I'm a first year PhD student in clinical psychology.

While my trajectory may be slightly different, our experiences as mature students are likely to overlap. I am fully aware of the plethora of challenges of returning to university. In particular, one of our most intrinsic struggles is the difficulty of getting settled into studying; perhaps it's because you feel that you're 'too old' to return to universty, or it might be because it's your first time to attend a university. On top of that, we also have to juggle our studying along with other commitments. I personally have to split my time between doing my PhD, managing my own start-up company, paying the bills, and being a devoted husband.

In line with these, my core aim as your Mature Students' Representative is to strenghten the communication between the Students' Union and mature students, and to foster a sense of community among mature students. Once elected, I plan to gather your feedback on how we can best move forward to achieve my core aim. 

Having me as your representative is a deed that can fulfil multiple needs – I'm not only a mature student, I'm also a distance student; I will also be the voice for BAME and LGBT students. And, more importantly, I represent mature students who are fuelled with grit and determination.

Please go through my University profile and my personal website to learn a little more about me.