Students from City of Wolverhampton College donned academic caps and gowns as they celebrated gaining their qualifications at its first higher education graduation ceremony.

Around sixty students, who have gained Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Higher National Diplomas (HNDs) and foundation degrees, received their awards at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Wednesday, 20 September.

The students – who have gained qualifications in business, computing, construction, counselling, creative arts, education, engineering, and health and social care – were presented with framed certificates by Claire Boliver, principal of the college.

Elliot Rushton, age 20, was just one of the students graduating. The 20 year business student, who is moving on to university to top up his HND to a full Business Management degree, said: “It’s a relief to complete my course after two years of hard work, but the tutors made it all a lot easier and were always there for support.

“The graduation was a great end to my course and it was really nice to see my class mates again.”

Meanwhile Lucy Arnold is moving on to university to a degree in Manufacturing Engineering after completing her HNC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. The 28-year-old said: “I’ve learnt so much at college and it was lovely to have my achievements recognised and go up in front of my parents to collect my certificate.”

Claire said: “Studying for any qualification requires a lot of dedication, but this is even more so for students doing higher education courses as these are university-level qualifications and require a significant amount of work.

“Every student who is attending the graduation ceremony should be extremely proud of what they have achieved and, on behalf of the college’s governing body, management team, tutors and support staff, I would like to thank them for their commitment to learning, congratulate them on their success, and wish them the very best for the future as they progress in their chosen careers.

Claire added: “People think that you can only gain HNC, HND and foundation degrees by going to university, but the college offers the same courses which is ideal for those who want to further their careers by gaining more qualifications but also want to stay close to home because of work or family commitments.”

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