Family, friends and fellow students of Accrington and Rossendale College gathered at Accrington Town Hall on Tuesday evening to celebrate the success of its Higher Education students at the annual Higher Education Awards Ceremony.

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In a prestigious event, graduates donned cap and gown for a night of celebration, receiving their awards to great applause.

Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates were awarded for graduates from Higher Education programmes, and special recognition was given to students for outstanding achievement in courses that range from Childhood Studies to Music to Construction, to name but a few.

The annual ceremony was also attended by Guest of Honour Professor Rebecca Bunting, Vice-Chancellor at Buckinghamshire New University. Rebecca personally wished each graduate the best of luck before presenting them with their certificates.

Charlotte Scheffmann, Dean of Higher Education at Accrington and Rossendale College, said “We have had another fantastic year with students achieving so high that we are amongst the best in England and above regional and national averages. We have achieved growth in higher education, particularly expanding our work with employers and growth in Higher Apprenticeships. We have been exceeding targets in other areas such as in the National Student Survey where our students have scored us highly in the areas of teaching, assessment, feedback, teaching facilities and engagement with our Higher Education students. We are so proud of all of our graduates and wish them all the very best in the future. I would also like to applaud our higher education staff who have tirelessly delivered and supported our students through their studies. Many of them dual professionals and immensely talented.”

Sue Taylor, Principal of Accrington and Rossendale College added, “The Higher Education Awards Evening is one of the highlights of our academic year. This is our 25th year of celebrating the achievements of our talented graduates. This year’s awards saw over 200 of our students presented with degrees and awards validated by Liverpool John Moores University, the University of Huddersfield, the University of Bolton, Buckinghamshire New University and Edexcel.  Many of our graduates have managed to juggle part-time jobs and parenting alongside their studies, which demands a huge amount of dedication and commitment. Our programmes offer local people, especially those with family or work commitments in the area, the perfect opportunity to access higher education right on their doorstep. This opportunity not only enhances their qualifications but often changes their lives. We are also very proud that graduates from our higher education programmes make a significant contribution to the knowledge base, prosperity and economic regeneration of Pennine Lancashire. I have no doubt that our latest bunch of talented graduates will go on to have fantastic careers.”

To conclude the evening, two students were awarded the Joe D’Angelo Student of the Year Award for outstanding progress, they were Victoria Greenwood studying on the Higher Apprenticeship Level 4 in Business and Professional 
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and Jessica Thomas studying on the BSc (Hons) Sports Science and Coaching Studies degree. They received a heart warming round of applause and cheers from all their fellow graduates.

Accrington and Rossendale College Scholarships were also awarded on the night to learners who had shown effort and progression in education. These where the Pilkington Scholarships (awardees Taiba Akhtar, Joshua Barrow, Megan Hillman and Declan West) and Heap, Kenyon, Ormerod Schalorships (awardees Darren English, Claire Mayers and Roeshene Savage).

A special thank you to all our students at Roots Restaurant who produced the evenings fantastic canapés. To find out more about Roots Restaurant, please visit www.rootsrestaurant.co.uk