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Wednesday, 8 March, 2000, 15:42 GMT
OU logo tattoo to mark exam success
Open University
Michael Leslie wants the tattoo as a 'lasting memento'
A new graduate from the Open University is to get the university's logo tattooed on his chest, in honour of its contribution to his life.

Michael Leslie from Leeds, West Yorkshire, has gained a bachelor of science degree from the university, which specialises in providing part-time, distance-learning courses.

Mr Leslie, aged 37, says the tattoo will help to remind him of the course which he hopes will improve his career prospects.

"As I work full time I could not have studied any other way and I thought the tattoo would be a lasting memento of the OU and all my studies," he said.

Almost 10,000 students have recently been told that they have successfully graduated from the Open University - 80% of them people in work.

Almost a third of this year's graduates have entered higher education without A levels, which the Open University says shows that it is still succeeding in widening access.

Milkman becomes lecturer

Among this year's graduates is Paul Cunningham, from Newry in Northern Ireland, who began his bachelor of science degree five years ago when he was working as a milkman.

Mr Cunningham, who left school when he was 16, is now a part-time lecturer in information technology and says that the Open University has given him an opportunity that he otherwise could not have afforded.

"I couldn't give up work, so I studied on Saturdays and in the evening. It was worth the effort and I'd say to anyone they can make the time if they want to."

The university's vice chancellor, Sir John Daniel, said: "We live in an era when more people want a university education, and more people need to return to university throughout their lives to fulfil their career and personal ambitions."

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