Past and Current Wolsey Hall Students
The great Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - anti-apartheid activist, politician, philanthropist, human rights advocate - is an example of what can be achieved through true dedication. Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years before becoming the first black President of South Africa, an office he held from 1994 to 1999. He was instrumental in bringing about an end to apartheid.
We’re proud to say that during his time in Robben Island jail, Mandela studied for his London University Law degree through a correspondence course with Wolsey Hall Oxford – a true inspiration to distance learning students everywhere!
Nelson Mandela's courage changed the world. He died in December 2013, at the age of 95, but his legacy lives on, and we will always take his wise words to heart:
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”
Dr. A.B. Assensoh
Dr. A.B. Assensoh studied with Wolsey Hall many years ago. He learned about Wolsey Hall Oxford through his uncles, who studied through correspondence in Ghana, and used Wolsey Hall for his G.C.E. and “O” and “A” level qualifications. Education has continued to play a significant role in Dr. Assensoh’s life – he taught for 16 years at Indiana University as a tenured professor, and is now a Professor Emeritus at the University of Oregon, where his wife, Dr. Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, is a professor of Political Science. The Assensohs have also co-authored a number of books, including a biography of Malcom X, and even enrolled their son, Livingston, in a Wolsey Hall Oxford course!
Griffin St Hilaire
Griffin St Hilaire took courses in A Level Economics and Accounting with Wolsey Hall Oxford in 1982, while continuing to work as a high school teacher in his home country of Dominica, West Indies. Distance learning in those days presented a few obstacles, he says: "There was no e-mail at the time and the banking system was not as advanced. I remember that I had to walk and hitch rides to the nearest bank which was 17 miles away to do an International Money Order!" Griffin has since achieved considerable success. He passed both of his subjects and went on to complete a degree in Economics, an MBA and then an MA in International Relations, and today he works for the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.
S.R. Nathan (Former President of Singapore 1999-2011)
S.R. Nathan was President of Singapore from September 1999 – August 2011. As a means to confront his lack of a more advanced formal education, Nathan enrolled on a course with Wolsey Hall Oxford which he mentions in his autobiography, "An Unexpected Journey: Path to the Presidency". He would rise at 4am every day and study for three hours before going into the office for a full day’s work, followed by dealing with Trade Union Matters. He would be back in bed by 8.30pm in order to restart his studies the next morning. He sadly passed away on the 22nd August 2016.
At 16, Wolsey Hall homeschooler Olivia is a rising star in competitive diving. She started out in gymnastics, moving to the US to train alongside gold medalists at the famous Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance Institute, but an injury forced her to reconsider her future in the sport, and she began to dive again. Thanks to the flexibility afforded by homeschooling, Olivia has been successfully balancing her studies with her training for a number of years, and she is now ranked in the top 3 for her age group in Great Britain. "I’m improving every day and my focus is on reaching my dream to compete at the 2016 – 2020 Olympics," she says. "To work towards this, I train 6-7 days a week...homeschooling has really helped me balance my sport and my schoolwork."
Dylan is an extremely talented young swimmer and another Wolsey Hall homeschooler with Olympic ambitions. He began swimming competitively at the age of nine. At 11 years of age Dylan qualified for the British Age Group Nationals and went on to win his first British Age Group Nationals gold medal. Over the next two years he continued to qualify for the British Age Group Nationals and won a further eight medals. Last year he and his family made a big move to the USA in order to allow Dylan to train with the North Baltimore Aquatics Club’s High Performance squad, which has produced a number of Olympic swimmers, including Michael Phelps. Dylan continues to keep up with his studies whilst training up to 20 hours a week in pursuit of his dream to someday represent Great Britain in the Olympics. "Home studying enables Dylan to focus more quality, undisturbed time on the subjects that he has chosen," his mother tells us. "It also gives him the vital flexibility he needs to fit around his training commitments.
The Springett family has been sailing around the world since March 2010, when they sold their house in New Zealand and moved onto their 55-foot catamaran in Phuket, Thailand. The Springetts have two sons, Thomas and John, both of whom have been able to keep up with their studies in spite of the family's unusual circumstances. "Our eldest son Thomas is 15 years old," says Hiromi Springett. "He’s doing IGCSE English, Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Business Studies with Wolsey Hall while we sail. It’s great to have a student support manager to provide assignment schedules, which encourages Thomas to organise his study plans – his time management has really improved!"