Finally, class of 2020 students donned their hats and gowns when New Collage held a graduation party for two-year groups.
After facing the challenges of Covid and a series of lockdowns, more than 130 tertiary students attended one of four separate events held throughout the day on the Queens Drive campus on Saturday.
They have graduated from a wide range of programs offered by the college and partner universities such as the University of Gloucestershire, Oxford Brookes University and Bath Spa University.
CEO and Director Carol Kitching said: “We are very proud and excited to help celebrate the success of our higher education graduates, who have achieved great success despite challenging circumstances.
“This is a very special occasion for them and their family as they graduate, and we have no doubts that they will continue to experience exciting and fulfilling careers. We wish them all success in the future in their careers.”
The students who attended the celebrations were overjoyed with what they had achieved.
Lori-Ann MacFarlane has a BA (Hons) in Education and Lifelong Learning and is now completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with Qualified Teacher status at Coventry University, while working at a school.
“I feel incredibly proud because I didn’t think this would happen,” she said. “I’m the first person in my family to graduate.
My advice to others considering higher education is to enjoy every minute of your degree. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice and just ask for it! ”
Ricardo Castro, a worker at Great Western Hospital, has a foundation degree in Health and Social Care and works as an Assistant Practitioner.
“I am very proud of what I have achieved. It has changed me and opened up new opportunities in the future.
Katarzyna Szafraniec has obtained the Higher National Certificate in Construction and the Built Environment (Construction) and is now working as a project manager for a housing association.
She said, “I have been wanting to complete this course for years as I wanted to gain more experience in the construction industry.
“Hard work pays off in the end, and the knowledge and friends in college stay with you.”