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Mum and daughter graduate from university side by side

SPECIAL BOND: Diane Queen and her daughter Azara graduated together

AZARA QUEEN and her mum Diane spent three years on the same criminology and psychology course at Coventry University – studying together, living in the same house and even working together in the same part-time job.

The self-proclaimed best friends, who graduated with matching second-class BSc degrees in November, show no signs of going their separate ways, after starting the same postgraduate MSc course in psychology at Coventry University.

The pair, who live in Coventry and work in mental health care when not at lectures, said far from wanting to get away from each other, their unusual situation simply means they have been able to stay together doing what they loved.

Azara, 26, insists that instead of dampening her university experience, having her mum by her side simply made the choice between family and going away to study simple. She said:

“We both wanted to go to university and the bonus was that this way, we could do something we loved and do it together.

“We never get sick of each other.Mum is my best friend.

“It is mad, but we have the same hobbies and everything. The only thing is that I like horror films and she doesn’t.

“We are always together but I still had my own experience the same as all the other freshers, I joined societies and was a cheerleader so we made our own friends.”

She continued:

“Mum did encourage me to live in halls or to go to another university, but I’ve told her she’s not getting rid of me.

“People are shocked when they find out, but they all love it.

“I saw my friends struggle with missing their families, especially in the first year. But I didn’t have that because mine has been right here with me.”

Diane, 49, is hoping her own unusual experience will encourage more mature students to get back into education.

She said:

“We help each other by revising together and filling in the gaps in each other’s notes.

“And there’s no chance Azara can get out of lectures or have an extra hour in bed, because I always know when she has a class or deadline coming up.

“The course was a challenge, but really worth it.

“So many people say to me that they are too old or scared to get back into education after so long, but that’s nonsense.

“I recommend it to anyone of any age. It‘s a lot of hard work, but so worth it, and even better that I got to do it with my daughter.”

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