Students at Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre are celebrating with a Virtual Graduation Ceremony.

The Higher Education students graduated remotely as they have gained their qualifications to secure career progression or their next steps into further study.

Students receiving their awards through Nelson and Colne College Group have been celebrated via the college's social media channels to raise awareness of the transformative effects of Higher Education.

Some of the star students gaining qualifications in the Class of 2020 include adult learners who are looking to progress or change career, have overcome significant health problems to achieve, or who have balanced significant family and work commitments to succeed in their studies.

Victoria Copsey, 40, from Heysham, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Health and Applied Social Studies, said: “The course offered in the HE department is ideal for working parents to provide progression – attending once a week fitted in with home life and family commitments.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Victoria Copsey​

"The Learning Support Team at College were also outstanding in arranging an assessment for my reading and writing needs and ensuring they were met.

“The qualification has enabled me to work as a band five practitioner within the NHS, while also building my confidence that I can achieve great things. It has led me to further study in the form of a Masters in Social Work at the University of Cumbria to continue my progression in my chosen field. I would like to work with older adults with mental health problems and enable people to meet their full potential.”

The university centre which incorporates Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College could not hold the traditional graduation ceremony due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Students were still able to celebrate in a virtual manner to end their learning in a different way.

Andrew Nixon, 37, from Colne, who graduated with a BEng (Hons) in Manufacturing Engineering, said: “I would highly recommend Nelson and Colne College Group to anybody who is planning to study Higher Education – the teachers are extremely helpful and have real world experience in the area they are teaching, which is hugely beneficial.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Andrew Nixon

“When I entered education again to undertake my HNC four years ago, it was off the back of a 14-year break in learning. The tutors at College were adaptable and understanding in getting me up to speed with the style and pace of learning.

“I’m an Advanced Manufacturing Engineer at Rolls-Royce and I have had a deep interest in how things are made and how they work since I was a child. My BEng qualification is helping with my career progression, and my ultimate career goal would be to become a department leader or manager within manufacturing engineering.”

Benny Asghar, 40, from Accrington, who graduated with a Foundation Degree in Counselling Studies, said: “I’m now working towards my BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy degree.

"I have been on a beautiful journey of self-discovery, which continuously encourages my curiosity to reach a broader and higher level of understanding of the subject.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Benny Asghar

"My ultimate ambition is to work in a therapeutic environment where my skills can be appreciated and utilised.”

Charlotte Scheffmann, Dean of Higher Education at Nelson and Colne College Group, said: “I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to all of our graduates on completing their qualifications, and wish them the very best of luck for the future. They have shown remarkable resilience, commitment and dedication to achieve and succeed in their studies during the most unprecedented of years.

“Donning caps and gowns at our traditional graduation ceremony – and marking the occasion with family, friends and tutors – is always a special occasion where memories are made. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances, we have not been able to do that this week, but we could not allow the situation to stop us from celebrating our Higher Education stars.

“Higher Education is renowned for having a transformative effect on people’s lives, and I hope that is true for the Class of 2020 graduating from Nelson and Colne College Group University Centre.”

The Higher Education offer at Nelson and Colne College Group’s University Centre is wide-ranging and is offered at two campuses – Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College.

It includes Applied Sciences, Building and Engineering, Business and Professional Services, Education and Childhood Studies, Health and Social Studies and Humanities. Access to Higher Education qualifications and Higher Level Apprenticeships are also available.