From education to employment

New campaign showcases the transformative power of higher education

3 women students together learning

Universities Wales is calling on people to share how university has changed their life in a new campaign celebrating the transformative power of higher education.

Launched today, Transforming Lives will share inspiring stories of university graduates whose lives have been profoundly shaped by their educational journey.

Studying at university can be among the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences of a person’s life, with benefits to skills development, knowledge building, forming new friendships, and  living independently. A degree from a UK university also continues to give a significant boost to salary, employment levels and a graduate’s career prospects throughout life.

However, behind the statistics are real people whose lives have changed for the better as a result of going to university. And it’s these people that Universities Wales want to put centre stage, sharing stories of graduates who have overcome challenges, discovered their passions, and emerged with the confidence to achieve their potential.

Rebecca’s story

Rebecca, a first-generation higher education student, graduated from University of Wales Trinity Saint David with an MDes in Surface Pattern & Textiles. Through the university she secured a paid internship with Rolls-Royce as part of the company’s exclusive design team, which ultimately led to her current role of Bespoke Designer at the company. Rebecca credits university for enabling her to pursue a creative career.

“University exposed me to a wide range of different opportunities that completely changed my career trajectory.”

Rhys’ story

After initially leaving school at 15 with no formal qualifications, Rhys went on to achieve a BSc, an MPhil and a PhD from Cardiff University. He is now an Associate Professor at Cardiff University. As a result of his time at university, Rhys has travelled the world, presented his own TV series, become a published author, and worked alongside Sir David Attenborough on the first BBC Planet Earth series.

On his university experience, Rhys said:

“Going to university really is an opportunity for you to change the direction of your life for the better. I am living proof of that, and thankful that I did every day.”

Professor Paul Boyle, Chair of Universities Wales, explains why the campaign is so important:

“Wales is facing significant participation challenges, with fewer Welsh 18-year-olds choosing to apply to university than at any point in the past decade. Independent analysis projects that Wales will need 400,000 additional graduates by 2035, and yet there is a real possibility that we will have cohorts of young people less well-qualified than their immediate predecessors.

“It is therefore more important than ever that we celebrate the many benefits – both personal and professional – that university can offer to individuals.

“The decision to pursue higher education is more than an academic choice; it is a life-altering path that opens doors, broadens horizons, and empowers individuals to reach their full potential.

“The Transforming Lives campaign gives us a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of these inspirational individuals and we hope that, in turn, people will be motivated to share their own stories of how university has transformed their lives.”

Join the campaign

Universities Wales is inviting graduates, students, and anyone who has experienced the transformative power of higher education to join the campaign.

Share your story here.

Related Articles