Daniel Pauley, 25, from Duns in the Scottish Borders, BSc (Hons) Podiatry graduate from QMU. Daniel is keen on all things active, but mainly outdoor activities and especially mountain biking. He’s a massive dog lover too.
Daniel spent some of his life in foster care. Sadly, only 6% of children in foster care go on to university level education compared to 43% of people who have not been fostered, so it was a great achievement when Daniel secured his place on the podiatry degree at QMU.
Daniel, who left school at the tender age of 15 with hardly any qualifications, has used his QMU education to transform his life and train for a career in healthcare where he could help others.
Why did you choose to study in Edinburgh?
It’s my home away from home and was a lot easier than moving too far away. As an older student, as much as I love my family, I could never live with them again. I love my own space.
What are the top three items that you brought with you to QMU that you wouldn’t be without?
My bike, My phone, and my gym gear.
What’s your favourite place in Edinburgh?
It would be The Auld Hoose on St Leonard’s Street. It’s the best pub in town and the nachos are huge.
Why did you choose to study BSc (Hons) podiatry at QMU?
I knew after college I wanted to do a job that contributed good things to the world and to other people, so I decided to do health care and podiatry.
What’s been the highlight of the course so far?
I’d say nail surgery. Being qualified to give local aenesthetic is pretty rock and roll, too.
Did you receive any awards, bursaries or scholarships whilst studying at QMU?
I won the Outstanding Achievement in Education’ award from the UK’s leading fostering charity, The Fostering Network, for getting the highest clinical grade in his year group (Level 3 Clinical Studies prize in 2016-17) at QMU. “The awards have definitely boosted my confidence in my final year at QMU and is helping me to push myself further to postgraduate studies.
When I was at school there was really no support and it was very disheartening. I’d had a lot of difficulties at home and I didn’t get any encouragement from the teachers, so I had no self-belief. It was no surprise that I didn’t do well academically. But I eventually realised two things – I loved helping people and I enjoyed health and fitness, so I picked myself up, went back to college and got an HND. That helped me get a place at QMU on the BSc (Hons) Podiatry, and I’ve never looked back.
As a foster child, you can be easily cast off. If no-one believes in you, then you don’t believe in yourself. But my experience at QMU has completely transformed my life. I am shocked at how much help and support is available – from financial support through bursaries, which means I should complete my degree without building up massive debt - to the incredible support of the academics and professional services staff. They are totally invested in helping students be all they can be. At last, I’ve found people who believe in me, so I can start believing in myself.
As a student of QMU, I am no longer overlooked - I am more than just a number. I have people who are 100% behind me and are helping me achieve my goals. This encouragement means I’ve developed a passion for learning and I always keep classes running late because I ask so many questions.
I am incredibly lucky to be where I am today, and am particularly grateful to my lecturer, Evelyn Weir, who is one of the most vital people I have ever met. Her contribution to the university and her influence on the student experience is immense. Evelyn and QMU make me believe I can do it!
The Fostering Excellence Awards provide a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on some of the young people, foster carers, social workers and others who make a positive contribution to the fostering community.
What are your top tips for students who might be interested in studying BSc (Hons) Podiatry at QMU?
University is easier than you think. Turn up to class, work hard, do the revision and you’ll pass.
What you want to do or be is a lot easier and achievable if you are confident in your ability.
Join a society, be social, meet new people, go out have a good time, and enjoy the experience as it’s over faster than you think.
Any future plans after graduating from QMU?
Relax a little from the stress, work, then do a postgraduate course.
"As a foster child, you can be easily cast off. If no-one believes in you, then you don’t believe in yourself. But my experience at QMU has completely transformed my life. At last, I’ve found people who believe in me, so I can start believing in myself."
[Published in 2018]