“Before becoming a student at UKC I was a bus conductor in Torquay. University education was a mighty step-up (at 27) and I wasn't going to waste a moment!
Socially, UKC was perfect: a wonderful environment, many (but not too many) students, excellent and demanding education and - it seemed - unending parties. Now, of course, it seems (like youth) an impossible dream; but it was great and I look back on the time with immense fondness and affection. For the first two years I had the good fortune to live in an eighteenth century attic in Chartham (a village three miles from Canterbury). I commuted by train and felt like a character from Dostoyevsky. I was on a full grant and, in the vacations, I was able to sign on with the National Assistance Board. I just about managed to keep my head above water and left the University debt-free.
But, one day, it was all over - just like that. I got my degree, summer term 1972 ended and I was back (more or less) on the road. But of all the thrilling moments, the most thrilling of all was at the end of that final term. My tutor, Christine Bolt, held a party for her tutees. I knew as I wandered slowly to her house that she would tell me my finals result. I knocked at the door. She opened it and said: “Are you still in agony, Mike?”
“Well, you got your 2:1!”
Mike Williams, Eliot 1969
“Based in Brussels, I enjoyed living abroad,
but close to home (being Dutch, it's only a
two hour drive). Moreover, I think there is
no other place in the world where the
environment is so international. Studying,
but also going out for events, there just is
a very open atmosphere in Brussels that
I enjoy to this day”.
Nienkevan Leeuwaarden, Woolf 2009