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The Corporation

Posted: 22/11/18

Graduation glory for West Notts’ students

University-level students at West Nottinghamshire College donned their caps and gowns for a momentous graduation day at the historic Kelham Hall, near Newark.

  • It was a day of celebration and pride
  • Over 200 students graduated at Kelham Hall, Newark this year
  • Chair of the board Nevil Croston presents Alex England with his outstanding student award
  • Tracey Crawford proudly accepts her outstanding award from Nevil Croston
  • Special award winners were proud to receive their trophies

More than 200 students graduated from Higher Education (HE) programmes studied last academic year, and the graduation, on Saturday 17 November, was the day they could celebrate with family, friends, tutors and fellow classmates. 

Students collected their graduation certificates from Professor Nick Antonopoulos, pro-vice chancellor at the University of Derby, and Professor Philip Plowden, the vice-chancellor of Birmingham City University – the college’s partner universities in the delivery of HE programmes. The college’s deputy principal, Tom Stevens, presented certificates to students who graduated with qualifications accredited by Pearson Education.

The graduation ceremony also saw sixteen students win outstanding student awards – with two students also receiving student of the year awards for performance on their courses.

One of these awards went to Alex England, who graduated from the BA (Hons) Sport Studies degree programme. His tutor, Ben Ashdown, nominated him for his constant pursuit of high standards in all of his studies, particularly with his dissertation research project which saw him put in a huge amount of time and effort in his data collection.

Alex, 25, from Ravenshead, was also commended for proactively enhancing his employability prospects, and has completed his FA Level One coaching course and found paid work, coaching young children on the Mini Kicks football coaching project.

Alex said: “It was great to win the awards and to hear the other students’ stories about all the amazing things they’d worked hard to achieve.

“My college experience has been very enjoyable and anyone who wishes to pursue Higher Education should definitely consider West Notts as an option. All staff and colleagues have been a credit to the college and made my time there easier.

“I’m going to be completing my PGCE teaching qualification at the college next, so hopefully I’ll still be seeing familiar faces and after this I’d like to go on and achieve my Masters degree.”

The other student of the year award winner was Tracey Crawford, a student on the BA (Hons) Business and Management course. Tracey was recognised for her determination and commitment to study, finally being able to return to learning in her mid-fourties having not been able to follow the traditional route to university. Her return to studies later in life was described as an inspiration to all mature learners.

Her development of confidence and skills on the course saw her present an outstanding proposal to the college’s Revive hair and beauty salon which they could take forward. This confidence also brought her success when she achieve the Local Authority Challenge East Midlands award.

Tracey, from Arnold, Nottingham, previously studied the foundation degree in the same subject prior to the full honours degree. She said: “To get a student of the year award as well as an outstanding award was overwhelming! I never had the chance when I was younger to go to university – so it’s great to fulfil that ambition after three decades. To win these awards is fantastic.

“Career-wise this qualification is going to help me to climb the career ladder. I’ve applied for some graduate programmes and I’d love to work in senior management. This degree, combined with my work experience, will help to propel me there.

“It’s been great at college, getting to know my fellow students and building new friendships over the three years. We’ll all stay in touch and we’ve got some lifelong friends from a range of backgrounds and ages.”

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

Vice-principal Louise Knott said: “Once again we’ve seen tremendous success from our university-level students, both academically and personally, across all curriculum areas.

“We’ve celebrated hard work, dedication, breaking boundaries and the love of learning with our students together with their families, friends and tutors and the atmosphere has been full of pride and thanks.

“Following their studies our students are more than prepared than ever to thrive and prosper, with their new-found confidence and qualifications. Combined with a positive work-ethic and ambition, their successes can be limitless.”

The college works in partnership with the University of Derby, Birmingham City University and Pearson to deliver a range of HE programmes, including full honours degrees, foundation degrees, higher national diplomas (HNDs) and higher national certificates (HNCs). Most of its programmes are delivered at the Vision University Centre based at the college’s Derby Road campus.