The Chief Constable of Northumbria Police was guest of honour at a memorable graduation ceremony as Northumberland College recently celebrated the achievements of its Higher Education students.
Winton Keenen QPM gave an inspiring and motivating speech to the 40-plus graduands who were presented with diplomas from a wide range of courses at Kirkley Hall Campus, including honours degrees; foundation degrees; higher apprenticeships; higher national diplomas; higher national certificates; and professional qualifications.
After introductions from Chair of Governors James Stuart, students – who wore traditional academic dress –took centre stage on the day which was presided over by Education Partnership North East and Northumberland College Chief Executive Ellen Thinnesen.
Following the ceremony, graduates joined their friends and families in the historic 17th century Kirkley Hall for a drinks reception to formally mark the end of their programmes and the beginning of a bright future.
Winton Keenen QPM said: “It was a privilege to attend Northumberland College’s graduation ceremony to celebrate the achievements of students.
“They should be proud of the qualifications they have attained, and I wish them every success in their future endeavours.”
Among this year’s graduates was BA (Hons) Childhood, Youth and Family Studies students Sam Mills who received the Principal’s Award for Academic Excellence.
Ellen Thinnesen added: “We were delighted to share this important day with all our Higher Education students and I’m proud of everything they have worked hard to achieve during their time with us. As graduates, I know they will now use their higher-level skills and knowledge to positively contribute to the economy and society and foster a better world.
“I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the Chief Constable for attending the ceremony. Winton has spent 38 years of a remarkable career with Northumbria Police and delivered an inspiring speech which will no doubt stay with all of us as a profoundly memorable reflection.
“Thank you also to our higher education staff for the support they have given our graduates during their studies, and I wish all those who graduated every success in the future.”
Northumberland College offers a variety of Higher Education courses including a number run in partnership with and accredited by local universities, such as the University of Cumbria.
Rachel Martin, who studied BA (Hons) Childhood, Youth and Family Studies and hopes to become a social worker, said: “The best thing about Northumberland College was the people I studied with and the lecturers. We all got along well, and they were very supportive, especially when I struggled during the pandemic. They helped me get back on track and were there when I needed them.
“I would definitely recommend studying here; you get the support when you need it. The college was close to home, and I could fit my studies around my family.”
Learning practitioner Ashleigh Suggate, who studied a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, added: “I chose to study at Northumberland College as I received my degree here.
“It’s a really nice place, really relaxed, it gave me the skills I needed to progress, and the lecturers help you to do the best you can. There’s a nurturing environment and it’s been a really great journey.
“When I was at school, I was never a high-flyer, then I came to the college to do my Level 3, then degree, finished with a first-class, and now my PGCE. I never thought that I could achieve that.”
We are the largest further education provider in Northumberland with campuses throughout the county.
Our student transport scheme is available for eligible students to make getting to and from college as easy as possible.
Our extensive re-development programme will create outstanding new facilities.