More than 50 Oaklands College students adorned cap and gown to celebrate higher education success surrounded by friends, family and tutors last night at the college’s annual graduation celebration.
The College’s Welwyn Garden City campus hosted the ceremony, a formal celebration which marks the achievement of students on higher education courses.
Graduates took to the stage to receive certificates from Pro Vice-Chancellor Sal Jarvis of the University of Hertfordshire, joined on stage by Oaklands Principal Zoe Hancock and Director of HE at Oaklands, Stephen Fox.
The College offers Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, with further Foundation Degree study offered in partnership with the neighbouring University of Hertfordshire. Each course gives students the opportunity to progress onto university and gain an Honours degree in their chosen field.
By moving on to an accredited Foundation Degree full time HE students have access to the university’s facilities in addition to those at college, giving the best of both worlds from college and uni life.
Ifrah Ahmed, 23, from Luton graduated with a HND in Health and Social Care. She said: “After studying Level 3 Health and Social Care at another college, I came to Oaklands for further study. From here, I’ll be moving on to a top-up course with the University of Hertfordshire in Applied Professional Practice, which equates to a Level 6. I didn’t have Higher Education in my plan when I left school, but I’m thrilled at the way it’s panned out and where I’m heading.”
Keely Barnes, 30 of Welwyn graduated with an Early Years Foundation Degree, accredited by the University of Hertfordshire. She said: “My studies have had a direct impact on my career already - I started as a keyworker in a local nursery playgroup and have now been promoted to Deputy. I’m especially pleased to have been able to work my studies around a family and having two young children, who knows where it will lead next!”
Oaklands Principal Zoe Hancock said: “It always fabulous to see the enjoyments of our students celebrating their success surrounded by their family, friends and tutors. It is a fantastic achievement, we are very proud of everything they have achieved and wish them the best for all their future successes.”