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The Corporation

Posted: 21/11/16

Double applause for university-level students

University-level students at West Nottinghamshire College celebrated together at a double graduation ceremony at the historic Kelham Hall, near Newark, on Saturday (19 November).

  • More than 280 students graduated from their programmes of study
  • Advisory chairman of LDC, Darryl Eales was keynote speaker at this year's graduation
  • Dame Asha Khemka took time to speak to students and hear about their future plans
  • Outstanding students won awards for their efforts on their programmes conferred by The University of Derby
  • Sam Mills, sport studies student was delighted with his principal's award in the afternoon ceremony
  • Outstanding students awarded at the ceremony which marked the completion of studies with Birmingham City University
  • Mechanical engineering student Steven Wraith was nominated as the principal's award winner in the morning ceremony
  • Great friendships were built by students on university-level courses
  • Exstudent Chris Miggels played the piano during the graduation intervals

This year more than 280 students graduated from university-level courses, seeing the college organising two ceremonies to enable everyone to take to the stage. 

Students collected their graduation certificates from Dame Asha Khemka DBE, Principal and Chief Executive, Professor Keith Horton, Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of Birmingham City University and Hari Punchihewa, Deputy Chief Executive of the University of Derby.

Attending the event was special guest and keynote speaker, Darryl Eales, executive chairman of Oxford United FC and the Chair of the E2Exchange.

The graduation ceremonies also saw 13 students collect Outstanding Student of the Year awards – while two students received the Principal’s Student of the Year award for outstanding performance on their courses.

One of the Principal’s Student of the Year awards went Sam Mills, a student on the BA (Hons) (Top-Up) Sport Studies. Sam joined the college in 2015 having previously completed a Foundation Degree in Professional Golf Studies with the Professional Golf Association.

Sam was very close to achieving a first class classification for his degree and this nomination is in recognition of the excellent work that Sam produced throughout the year. Sam is now studying his Masters with a view of gaining employment in a professional work context.

Sam said: “Life at West Notts College has been phenomenal. I can’t speak highly enough of the lecturers and support staff. I’ve made some great friends and there’s a real camaraderie. Me and my fellow students have shared laughs, hard work. I’ve always had someone to support me.

“To receive two awards today has been a big honour. I want to thank my parents for such support. My mum is no longer with us – she passed away six years ago. Everything I do is for her. She never saw me do any studying but I hope she’d be proud today.

“I’m hoping to go on to be a performance analyst in professional sport. I’ve now moved on to study my Masters of Research in Sport Science at Nottingham Trent University.”

The other award winner was Steven Wraith, a student on the HND in Mechanical Engineering. Steven has been a keen and conscientious student since he started on the programme three years ago. His consistently high grades along with experience gathered through working in the sector has made him a well-respected member of the cohort.

Steven said: “I previously did the HNC at West Notts. Working full-time as well as studying is quite tough at times. The qualification will help me to progress at work. I’ve reached quite a senior position but my boss encouraged me to undertake the programme and I’m really grateful to him for offering me the opportunity.

“It was a massive shock to get two awards but it was lovely and I’ve been proud to have my wife and son with me today to celebrate.”

The event also saw members of the college’s own staff graduate from courses held at the Mansfield-based college.

Principal and chief executive Dame Asha Khemka said: “Every year our graduation exceeds expectation and this year is no exception. It’s a real pleasure to see our graduates, their families and tutors celebrate their great success together.

“The exciting thing about my role as principal is being able to facilitate nurturing and unlocking the talent of our students. We’ve all played a part in developing their confidence, their self-belief and increasing their hunger to succeed.

“Our job is also to equip our students with the right skills so that they develop as dynamic entrepreneurs, future job creators and leaders of tomorrow. I wish every one of our graduates the very best in their future studies and careers and I hope they take their new-found confidence along with their new skills and help to build a successful future.”

The college works in partnership with Birmingham City University and the University of Derby to teach a wide range of university-level courses such as foundation degrees as well as offering seven top-up courses enabling students to achieve an Honours Degree. 

There are also HND and HNC qualifications and most of its programmes are now being delivered at the new Vision University Centre based at the college’s Derby Road campus.