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The Corporation

Posted: 26/03/08

College graduates celebrate in style

A graduate celebrating their achievement

Almost 200 Higher Education students from West Nottinghamshire College graduated this term and almost 120 took to the stage this Saturday at historic Kelham Hall in Newark where they collected their graduation certificates from courses such as Foundation Degrees, HNDs and HNCs. This is the College's second graduation this year, seeing double the number of students graduating since the ceremony in March.

A number of VIPs joined staff, students and their families, including Mansfield’s Mayor Tony Egginton, MP Alan Meale and Professor John Coyne of Derby University. The College works in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Derby who validate the wide range of university level courses now available at the College.


Shereen Russell accepting her award from Asha Kemka

Some of the College's own staff were proudly donning their caps and gowns this weekend also as many have taken the challenge to further their own professional qualifications and some have studied at this level for personal reasons as well.

Principal Asha Khemka was proud to share the students’ success: "Just as West Nottinghamshire College has made its mark on the map this year with the outstanding Ofsted results, today our very own students are making their mark on the map with their outstanding success at graduation. Many people are here today proving that they have the knowledge, the determination and the strength to make a difference, to make change happen in this ever changing world. I hope all of our students go on to great futures and become academic inspirations for generations to come."

Twelve students received 'outstanding student of the year' awards for their academic achievements throughout their studies Winners were:

  • Andrew Lacey – Foundation Degree in Management with Outdoor Activities
  • Craig Swinton – Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching and Development
  • Mark Austin – Foundation Degree in Sports Performance Coaching
  • Kym Morgan – Foundation Degree in Children’s and Young People’s Services
  • Matthew Hird – Foundation Degree in Motorsport Technology
  • Aaron Hulka – HND Computing
  • Nicola Warren – HNC Computing
  • Craig Newborough – HND Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • David Colley – HNC Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Andrew Fletcher – HNC Mechanical Engineering
  • Mark Newbury – Foundation Degree Applied Computing; Networking Technologies
  • Shereen Russell – HND Performing Arts

Shereen was also the Principal's HE Student of the Year winner.

The 22 year old, from Nottingham, said: "This was very unexpected. I was absolutely stunned when my name was called out but also very proud because I went through a lot in the two years I was on the course. There were times when circumstances meant it wasn't always easy getting to college but I persevered and am now reaping the rewards.

"It was great to have my foster mum and sister Pauline here to see me go up on stage and collect the award.

I am now studying performing arts at Sheffield Hallam University and am looking at getting an agent so I can pursue a career in acting.

I'd be thrilled to either work in television, film or the theatre – any of these would be great because I love all forms of acting."

Graduates, College staff and VIPs

MP Alan Meale said after the ceremony: "There has been such great achievement at West Nottinghamshire College recently and today proves we have such talent in our local area. We have witnessed today the future of the East Midlands and possibly the UK. West Notts offers educational opportunities at every conceivable angle and time and time again, students are succeeding at top levels."

Mansfield Mayor Tony Egginton – a former student of the College was one of the VIP guests of honour at the ceremony.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "The students have aspired to achieve great things and should feel justifiably proud of themselves.

"They've worked incredibly hard to turn their aspirations into reality and today was a fitting celebration of their success.

It's fantastic that the College works in partnership with universities to offer higher education courses. It gives local people the opportunity to study for a wide range of foundation degrees, HNDs and HNCs at their local college, which can only benefit the area.

I would like to see Mansfield and district retain its pool of home grown talent because these people are the key to our social and economic prosperity."