Swindon's New College held a day of celebration for its graduating higher education students.
This weekend saw many celebrations and congratulations as New College hosted graduation ceremonies for over 130 of its Higher Education students at the Queens Drive Campus.
Despite the stormy weather, the classes of 2020 and 2021 and their families had the opportunity to attend one of four ceremonies in person and have their achievements recognised.
Students graduated from a wide range of degree, foundation degree, and Higher National Certificate and Diploma programmes offered by the College and partner universities such as the University of Gloucestershire, Oxford Brookes University and Bath Spa University.
Subjects included Education, Health and Social Care, Graphic Design, Engineering, Business, Computing, Performing Arts and Public Services.
Lori-Ann MacFarlane graduated with a BA (Hons) Education and Lifelong Learning degree and is now completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with Qualified Teacher Status at Coventry University, whilst employed in a school.
She said: “I feel incredibly proud as I never thought this would happen. I am the first person to graduate in my family. My advice to others considering H.E. would be to enjoy every minute of your degree; don’t be afraid to ask for advice and just go for it!”
A spokesperson for New College said: "The challenges of the pandemic have made both study and graduating even more of an accomplishment for these cohorts of students and they have shown great resilience, commitment and perseverance in striving to reach their goals."
Ricardo Castro graduated with a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care and is employed as an Assistant Practitioner working in operating theatres at Great West Hospital.
He said: “I have truly enjoyed my journey with fantastic support from my tutors and fellow students and the very programme itself. I am incredibly proud of what I have achieved. It has transformed me and has opened up new future opportunities.”
Katarzyna Szafraniec graduated with an HNC in Construction and the Built Environment (Construction) and is employed as a Project Manager for a housing association.
She said: “I had wanted to complete this course for years as I wanted to get more experience in the construction industry and progress in my career as a surveyor.The experience of studying and meeting new people motivates you in other areas of your life. Hard work pays off in the end and knowledge and friends made at College stay with you.”
Carole Kitching, Principal and CEO of New College Swindon added:? “We are absolutely honoured and delighted to help celebrate the success of our Higher Education graduates, who have achieved so well despite the difficult circumstances. This is an extremely special occasion for them and their families as they graduate, and we have no doubt that they will go on to experience exciting and fulfilling careers. We wish them every future success in their careers.”