Karen Clark

Orkney College UHI Student of the Year


Karen Clark left a successful career in banking and related work in 2012, after 20 years with the local Bank of Scotland branch, and is now pursuing a long-held personal ambition to become a primary school teacher.  Now in her third year of a Child and Youth Studies degree at Orkney College UHI, this is her first time studying at degree level.

Karen commented: “When I left school, there were limited opportunities to study locally - it meant going south. So I went straight to the bank from school. But by the time I had my first child in 2008, I was starting to think about doing something different.  After the arrival of my second baby, I knew I wanted to take a career break and subsequently decided to use the time away from banking to take steps towards a career in teaching.  By this time I knew that Orkney College UHI was offering degree courses by remote study. It was all on my doorstep so to speak, so I enquired further at the college.”

Curriculum Leader Core Skills at Orkney College UHI, Andy Fraser, said: “Moving between industries and reinventing oneself throughout life is becoming more and more necessary, but it is a courageous step to take at any time. “Karen has managed to do this to an exceptional level thus far, and with two young children at home. She is a fine example of what can be achieved by mature age students - with determination and belief in your potential.”


Picture: Karen Clark, BA (Hons) Child and Youth Studies, Orkney College UHI