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The Corporation

Posted: 23/11/10

College celebrates double graduation ceremony

Higher education students at West Nottinghamshire College celebrated their achievements at a double graduation ceremony at the historic Kelham Hall, near Newark, last weekend (20 November).

268 students graduated from university-level courses at the college this year.  For the first time it held two graduation ceremonies on the same day to ensure everyone could take to the stage to collect their graduation certificates.

Certificates were presented by Professor John Coyne, vice-chancellor of the University of Derby, and Michelle Fraser, associate dean of Leeds Metropolitan University – the college's partner institutions in the delivery of HE programmes. 

Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero was the special guest and keynote speaker.

Ms De Piero said: “It was a delight to attend the graduation ceremonies and meet with some genuinely inspiring students.  This really proves that higher education is accessible to all and anyone can fulfil their ambitions to advance if they really want to.

“As someone who studied at degree level I’d like to tell students: this is the hard bit over with if you’ve studied at this level.  There’s nothing to stop you now, so go out there, be brave and put yourself forward to achieve your dreams.”

The double graduation ceremony saw 18 students receive Outstanding Student of the Year awards, presented by principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE, while two others – Clare Winsor and Jonathan Price – collected the Principal’s Student of the Year awards for their outstanding performance on their courses.

Clare, 45, from Ravenshead, said: “To be given this award was a complete shock.  I’ve really enjoyed my time on the Foundation Degree in the Built Environment (Construction) and I’ve achieved good grades throughout.  My employers at Center Parcs have supported me all the way through my studies and I’m so proud to have fulfilled my 20 year ambition of taking up further study. 

“Eventually I hope to become a project manager at work.  Meanwhile, I’m going to the University of Derby to study the top-up degree.  My family have been a tremendous support and I hope that I’ve encouraged my children to work hard at their studies so they can achieve their dreams too.”

Foundation Degree in Sport and Science student, Jonathan, from Mansfield Woodhouse, also delivered the vote of thanks.

The 22-year-old said: “Today has been a very proud day for me.  I was nervous at first but it’s been an enjoyable day.  I plan to go to Leeds University next to pursue my top-up degree and then I’d love to come back to West Notts to teach.”

Over 30 members of West Notts’ own staff graduated from courses held at the Mansfield-based college.

Mrs Khemka OBE said: “This was a very proud day for us all – students, families and staff alike.  We continue to see more and more people choose higher education programmes with us. 

“Whether this is to continue their educational pathway with a view to going to university, or to increase their career potential in their current jobs, graduating is a momentous occasion for every student.  They commit so much time and effort into expanding their knowledge and skills and really do deserve to be rewarded in this way.”

The college offers a wide range of university-level courses such as HNDs and HNCs and also works in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Derby to deliver foundation degrees.  The college also offers two full honours degrees in the shape of the BSc (Hons) Technology and Engineering Management and the BA (Hons) in Business Management, which are both validated by Leeds Metropolitan University.