Graduating at the same ceremony on the same day was the icing on the cake for mother and daughter Andrea and Nicola Rankin, following five years of studying side-by-side.
The pair began their higher education journey together at college, before joining Hope to study BA Applied Childhood & Youth, and BA Early Childhood respectively.
Talking about their unique bond, Andrea said: “We’ve found the experience a very special one, as it has been such a good journey to do this together.
“We have supported each other throughout and I’ve found it extremely beneficial, as there were times when I didn’t think I would get through, especially when the University went online.
“I found this really hard to stay focused, whereas Nicole much preferred it, so it was mainly a lot of encouragement from her and my two other children that got me through!
“We definitely bounced ideas off each other as we studied similar subjects, so if either one of us was unsure about a topic or question, we would just talk and get a different perspective on the subject.”
When deciding where to go to University after completing their college courses, the pair opted for Liverpool Hope as they liked how it felt like ‘one big family’.
Andrea said: “The main highlights are definitely studying together, and meeting some amazing new people who have become close friends.
“We want to say a massive thank you to Hope for our time there, all our lecturers who have been great, and also to Dr Penny Haughan for granting us this special day together - we are both truly grateful.”
Originally, the mother and daughter were set to graduate on different days, however a special request to move Andrea across to Nicole’s ceremony was approved by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor so they could celebrate together.
“I switched my ceremony to be with Nicole, as we felt this was just the best way to complete our experience together. Graduating together has just been the perfect end to our amazing chapter.”
Looking forward, Nicole is set to complete a year’s work experience so she is able to complete a Masters, while Andrea will be undertaking a Masters in Nursing.