GC Higher Education students honoured at Cathedral ceremony
Gloucestershire College honoured the achievements of almost 400 students today, at its 26th Higher Awards Ceremony held in the prestigious setting of Gloucester Cathedral.
At the fully booked event, 150 students who completed higher education qualifications in 2016 gathered to graduate in person, while their proud lecturers and families looked on. The students completed courses in 33 different subjects, including Foundation Degrees in Health and Social Care, Early Years and Therapeutic Counselling; teaching qualifications including the Certificate in Education and Training; and Higher National Certificates in a range of subjects such as Business, Graphic Design and Engineering.
Principal Matthew Burgess delivered the opening address, following a formal procession through the Nave of the Cathedral.
The guest of honour at the ceremony was Dr Diane Savory OBE DL; co-founder of Superdry, current Chair of the GFirst Local Enterprise Partnership and former Gloucestershire College student. She gave an inspirational speech about her journey from humble beginnings as a market trader to building a globally recognised clothing brand.
Diane said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you on your great achievements. It’s also worth recognising the great effort and support that you get from your friends and families and from the staff of Gloucestershire College.
“All of you should be extremely proud of what you’ve achieved. Along the way there will have been highs and lows and really valuable lessons you will have learned about the subjects you studied and, more importantly – yourselves.”
Students at the ceremony ranged from those who progressed up though the College from lower level courses, to those who completed their qualification to further their career or have a complete change of direction.
Friends Lee Jones and Luke Clapham both completed a HND in Theatrical Production in July. 22-year-old Luke, who lives in Cheltenham, said:
“I started performing arts at the College straight after school and have progressed to the HNC. I knew people that were coming here and the College had a good reputation. To be honest, before I started at GC I never expected to ever be a graduate! It’s surreal being here and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. I wouldn’t study anywhere else.”
23-year-old Lee from Gloucester said: "I really liked the fact that the lecturers adapted the course to suit the individual needs of the student. Not everyone had the same career goals in mind, so they made sure that while we were learning we also knew how we could apply it to our own ambitions."
Victoria Cox, who is 32 years old and lives in Newent, has achieved a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care. She said: “Being able to work alongside the course was very important to me; and the course content covered all of the basics of caring for vulnerable adults that is also included in the first year of nursing degree.
“I feel so proud of myself to be graduating and am looking forward to starting a degree in Nursing at Birmingham University in January. I’d like to work in cancer care or intensive care.”
26-year-old HND Photography graduate, Erin Nunn, said: "I’m proud to be graduating but it’s also sad because I’ve completed all of the photography courses at GC and so I know I won’t be coming back into College on Monday.
"I went travelling after school and it was while I was going to all these beautiful places that I found my passion for photography. I’d heard good things about GC, so I started at Level 2 and progressed to the HND.
"I’ve really enjoyed learning new photography skills, in particular traditional, dark room photography. I’ve been able to build a great portfolio and I’m going to start my own photography business.”