Golden Graduation celebrates gold success

With caps neatly arranged and gowns pressed and straightened, Truro Cathedral was bursting with excitement as it saw hundreds of graduating University level students from Truro and Penwith College take to the stage to receive their well-deserved awards.

Full to capacity, the Cathedral hosted almost 1000 supportive friends, family and fellow classmates who gathered to give each and every one of the graduating students a celebration to remember.

The TEF Gold-rated College’s 19th Graduation ceremony recognised the achievements of 377 students who have worked so hard to obtain Higher Education certificates this year.

Professor Simon Payne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Plymouth, represented the College’s accrediting body and welcomed guests and students alike to the grand ceremony.

In his speech, he congratulated the College on its excellent performance noting that: “Results are achieved by excellence in teaching and student support…and in leadership…recognised this year by the Association of Colleges’ Leadership and Governance Beacon Award.”

Professor Simon Payne said of the event: “I am delighted to be able to take part in the celebrations at the Graduation ceremony for Truro and Penwith College. The College is a highly valued, long-standing and high-quality academic partner of the University of Plymouth”.

David Walrond, Principal at Truro and Penwith College, was thrilled with the successes of Higher Education students who have completed their studies with the College.

He said: “The focus across all Higher Education on the quality of teaching and support for students is rightly intensifying and we are delighted not only with another cohort of very successful graduates at the College but also to have been awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for the quality of our work with them.”

Among those receiving their awards on the evening, a selection of students were recognised as being particularly successful in their achievements. BA (Hons) Human Behavioural Studies graduate, Lauren Shapcott, was awarded with the Academic Partnerships Prize having graduated with first-class honours, despite facing adversity in her personal life. This was presented by Professor Paul Brunt, the Director of Academic Partnerships at the University of Plymouth.

Paul said: “Lauren has consistently presented herself as an excellent and enthusiastic student of Psychology, both capable and motivated; working hard at all times.”

Overwhelmed to receive her award, Lauren said: “Never in a million years did I think that I would be capable of achieving a first-class honours degree. It’s just the best feeling, knowing that every single day has been worth it, I never thought that this day would even come!”

The Education Cup was won by Certificate in Education student, Emma Salter, for her outstanding impact on learning within the College while working with 16-19 year olds to help them improve their maths skills.

She said: “Having worked with lots of 16-19 year olds in the hospitality industry who hadn’t the first clue how to complete simple sums, I knew that I needed to help students like them, and this qualification will allow me to continue doing just that.”

“I’ve really enjoyed studying the Certificate of Education in the Fal building and I’m really pleased that I’ve made it here tonight to graduate,” she added.

FdA Childhood Education mature graduate, Donna Harvey received the Bianca Trew Award for her creative approach to teaching and learning throughout her academic studies.

She said: “I was really looking forward to my three daughters seeing me graduate, so I could show them that mum’s can work too. The best part of this so far is when my 12 year old daughter said to me ‘I’m proud of you mum’; it really summed up my achievements.”

Receiving special recognition for epitomising qualities, skills and character required to be a truly exemplary member of the workforce, FdA Children and Young People’s Workforce graduate, Louise Zehtabi was awarded with the Children and Young People’s Workforce Cup of Excellence.

Excited to graduate, she said: “I can’t believe that I’m actually here and going to graduate, it just doesn’t seem real. The course has given me a totally new purpose; it wasn’t something I ever thought that I would be capable of completing, not to mention coming out with a first-class honours!”

Andrew Smart, Higher Education Team Leader at Truro and Penwith College, thoroughly enjoyed the evening, watching many hard-working students graduate.

He said: “It was fantastic to see our students graduating and celebrating with their friends and families. So many of our students have come through the College either as Access Course students returning to education, mature learners changing careers, or A Level and Diploma students who wanted a friendly, supportive Higher Education experience here in Cornwall.”

“With over 25% of our learners achieving a first-class degree or distinction level, we really did have something to celebrate here today. I know that I speak on behalf of all the staff involved in Higher Education when I say how proud we are of our students’ achievements and we wish them all the best in the future,” he added.

After the final award was given and the evening was drawing to a close, graduates departed Truro Cathedral, safe with the knowledge that their future career is now closer than ever before.

University Courses are closer than you think; with more than three quarters of all Truro and Penwith College students achieving a 2:1 or first-class degree, there has never been a better time to think about your future. Come and talk to us about your options at our upcoming University Courses Open Day on Saturday 4th November, visit www.truro-penwith.ac.uk/HEopenday to register.