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Dayna Byfield

BSc Business and Management

Dayna Byfield has overcome her fear of studying and is now a confident student thanks to the support offered by Birkbeck, University of London. Having struggled with academic work at school, she was apprehensive about returning to the classroom, but is now making good progress because of the advice, equipment and money she receives because of her learning needs.

One of Birkbeck’s introductory sessions was life-changing for Dayna as it led to the diagnosis of her learning difficulties. The description of certain learning difficulties by Mark Pimm, Birkbeck’s Disability Service Manager, struck a chord with her, and an appointment was arranged through the College with an educational psychologist. Following a series of tests, Dayna was diagnosed with dyspraxia, dyslexia and scotopic sensitivity syndrome – a problem with visual perception that affects  the ability to read.

As a result of her learning needs, Dayna qualifies for specialist disability support provided by the Government. Now that she has been identified as an auditory learner, she uses equipment that reads text out loud, rather than her having to read academic texts. Her laptop, software and book scanner have all been provided free of charge, and she also receives £200 every year to cover the cost of studying materials.

In 2008 Dayna, from London, completed a Certificate in Legal Methods at Birkbeck, and she is now in her first year of a BSc in Business and Management at the College.

Dayna said: 'Birkbeck has been instrumental in that it has completely changed my life. My learning needs had not been identified before, and I had developed mechanisms to cope, but I was not fulfilling my potential. Now I am receiving the individual support I need. The course is going very well and I gained top grades in my last exam. I am very hopeful and everyone said you are more than capable. I had a eureka moment in the first lecture and thought I can do this.'

'All the staff have been exceptionally helpful, but a special thanks goes to Professor Linda Trenberth, Head of the Department of Management. She has been instrumental in supporting me at every stage. Even when I wasn't achieving my potential, Linda was there with sound advice and a listening ear. I don't think I would be still treading this path if it weren't for her-she has been my lifeline.'

Dayna’s successes at Birkbeck have also given her newfound confidence and a will to succeed in other spheres of her life. As a mother, business consultant, and non-executive director of a housing association, she values the skills and experience she is gaining from her studies at Birkbeck.

She added: 'I recommend Birkbeck all the time. I have met some wonderful people that I am sure will be lifelong friends. Birkbeck really wants to support its students.'

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'I had a eureka moment in the first lecture and thought I can do this.'