A STEWARTON bus driver has transformed his life after graduating from university with a degree in Social Science.

Scott Montgomery, who left school without any qualifications aged sixteen, has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Social Science from The Open University (OU). Scott, who went on to work in construction before becoming a bus driver, was one of 530 graduates to cross the stage at last week’s ceremonies in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall.

Now 51, Scott studied through a partnership between Ayrshire College and the OU which saw him study for his degree with the OU at the College, having previously gained his Higher National Diploma there.

The Stewarton resident was diagnosed with dyslexia during his study and went on to complete a Leonard Cheshire-supported internship with the Department for International Development (DFID) as soon as his studies were completed. Inspired by their work on poverty reduction and armed with his degree, Scott has applied to the DFID apprenticeship scheme.

Scott said:“I got a full-time job on a building site when I left school – where I’d never really done very well – without sitting my exams. I think that was quite typical at the time, but I regretted not staying on.

“I went back into education in my forties, encouraged by my wife, and didn’t really have any expectations. I just wanted to see if I could do an access course at Ayrshire College and see how it went. And it went great.

“It was just one year after another until I got to The Open University. The OU was a good choice for me because I was able to work at the same time. You’ve got your family life, work life, and are still able to study at the same time. The whole thing seems to fit really nicely. It’s worked out fantastically for me.”

Susan Stewart, Director of The Open University in Scotland, said:

“There’s no such thing as a typical OU student but what they all have in common is that they have hugely busy lives. They fit their study in along with family, work and all sorts of other responsibilities, which makes today’s ceremonies particularly special.

“Scott is an incredible example of that dedication and it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to celebrate with him and fellow graduates today.”

Honorary degrees were presented to Judy Murray OBE and campaigner Dr Corinne Hutton.