Wiltshire College & University Centre honoured its Higher Education students last Friday with a memorable Graduation Ceremony held at Salisbury Cathedral.
The ceremony marked the College’s first Graduation event since 2019 and two ceremonies were held on the day, with students who completed university-level and degree-level programmes in both summer 2020 and 2021 celebrated in the spectacular surroundings offered by the Cathedral. No event took place last year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In total, the achievements of around 250 students were marked across the day and graduates took part in a special procession through the city ahead of their respective ceremony. Graduates paraded from Salisbury Playhouse, along Fisherton Street and High Street before entering the Cathedral grounds.
Minister of State for Higher and Further Education Michelle Donelan MP was the guest speaker on the day, while College Principal and CEO Iain Hatt and Chair of Governors Martin Clark also gave speeches.
College Principal and CEO Iain Hatt said: “The College was delighted to be able to hold Graduation ceremonies on Friday to honour those students who completed Higher Education programmes with us in 2020 and 2021. With the stunning setting at Salisbury Cathedral, it was truly a day to remember.
“The achievements celebrated on Friday are an important milestone for students. They will open doors to opportunities both now and in the future. The previous two academic years have seen much disruption owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. These challenges have made the achievements of students all the more commendable.
“I would like to thank all College staff and the many employers for the help and support they have given our graduates during their studies, and I wish all those who graduated in Friday’s ceremonies every success in the future.”
Michelle Donelan MP said: “All of the students’ hard work has paid off despite the challenges of the pandemic. I know some of the graduates had to wait more than a year to celebrate and it is wonderful that the College were able to put these ceremonies on. It was an absolutely incredible day, I enjoyed playing a small part in it and I wish all the graduates every success in the future.”
The College offers a wide variety of Higher Education courses, including a number validated by top UK universities, and programmes delivered in conjunction with Bournemouth University, Oxford Brooks University, The University of Bath, The University of Greenwich and The Royal Agricultural University over the previous two years were all marked on the day.
For graduates and their families, it was a day worthy of the occasion and many enjoyed reuniting with friends to celebrate the academic success they have achieved together.
Sam Warren, HNC General Engineering 2021 graduate, said: “It was a really good day. It is the first Graduation ceremony I have been to so I didn’t know what to expect but being part of the procession was really nice. There were a lot of faces I hadn’t seen for four or five months so it was nice to see everyone and catch up. I really enjoyed my course and I am carrying on to do a HND. I have got further progression, so I guess I might be back here again next year.”
Charlotte Legg graduated from the Level 5 HR Consultant / Partner Apprenticeship 2021 course and said: “I had a great day. I am glad it was rescheduled and we were able to do it all together. Our course was midway through when the pandemic hit so we haven’t seen each other face-to-face for 18 months, so it was really nice to get together again.”
HND Creative Media Production (Games Development) 2020 graduate William Batty-Smith
Said: “I was quite nervous for the day but the whole thing was really good. It all went really smoothly and the photography was great. It was nostalgic as my friends got together and we talked about the things we used to do at the College. It was good for everyone to see their tutors and all their friends again.”
The College is grateful to everyone at Salisbury Cathedral, without whose support the ceremonies would not have been able to take place.
For more information on the College’s Higher Education provision, click here.