Dennis Ayerume is working his way through a full-time Mathematics (including foundation year) BSc at the impressive age of 70, following the advice of his wife who took Early Childhood Studies here. This is the story of how this former Nigerian banker came back to education.
Why did you decide to come back to education?
I felt bored sitting at home after retirement. I decided it would be a good thing to refresh my brain by coming back to school so I decided to study something new.
I found mathematics interesting because I did mathematics at GCSE level back home in Nigeria. Coming here, I first thought I wanted to do computer science, but in my foundation year I found mathematics was more accommodating... and I got better marks in maths than computer science! I also studied mathematics in secondary school but it is getting tougher by the day! I am in my second year now at London Met and I'll finish next year by the grace of God.
You used to work in banking...?
Yes – my background is in banking and accounting. I worked in banking back home and was transferred to the UK in 1999 to head up the office here in the UK. In 2006, I was transferred back to Nigeria to head up a large department. I have a degree in accounting and a professional qualification from ACCA, and I'm also a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Bankers.
You did a foundation year – was it easy to transition into HE?
The transition was quite easy and I got an additional bonus because of my background.
Why did you come to London Met in particular?
My wife came to London Met to do Early Childhood Studies and she recommended it to me. I came and I was not disappointed.
Don’t you find it tiring? You’re studying, you have a family...?
I turned 70 in May this year. I have five children and grandchildren too. I’m very tired when I get home! I finish my dinner and my granddaughter goes straight to bed (she stays with us because my son is an aviation pilot). Then I go straight to sleep for five hours and I’m up again.
You are a student ambassador – I’ve seen you at open days. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I remember that when I first came here, a number of student ambassadors assisted me. I soon perceived what they were doing and I thought that it might make me feel more agile and move more freely, so I thought I better join this group. We also do things like represent London Met at HE fairs. I very much enjoy being a student ambassador.