Walsall College’s higher education students paraded to Walsall Town Hall in their caps and gowns on 30th November, to officially open their formal Graduation Ceremony, which featured BBC Journalist Sean Farrington as guest speaker.
More than 100 students stopped traffic during the parade as Town Crier Adrian Holmes led the procession, shouting about their success on higher education courses and proclaiming the college as ‘the best in the land.’
Shoppers watched as the parade made its way down Park Street and Bridge Street, before arriving at the grade II listed building.
Over 350 guests attended the annual ceremony, including students, lecturers, family and friends. The high achieving students received certificates for success on courses such as Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Top-Up Degrees and Foundation Degrees in the college’s clusters: Business & Computing, Professional Development, Creative Industries, Construction, Engineering & Science, Health & Public Services, Services to People and Employer Responsive.
This year, a large number of students have graduated through a higher apprenticeship in subject areas including Business and Professional Administration, Care Leadership and Management, as well as Human Resource Management.
In partnership with the University of Worcester, the College recently launched the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. The Level 6 course provides managers and aspiring managers with the skills required to become more effective in their current or future roles.
Degree Apprenticeships combine higher education study and work-based learning to enable apprentices to achieve a higher level award, such as a Foundation, Bachelor or Masters Qualification. Co-designed by training providers and employers, Degree Apprenticeships help apprentices develop their careers by equipping them with the skills employers require to grow their business.
During the ceremony, seven special awards were presented to students for excelling during their courses.
The guest speaker at the event was Sean Farrington, Financial Journalist for the BBC, who inspired hundreds of students and guests when he spoke about the doors higher education can open.
With a career that spans eight years, Sean now edits the daily business, economics and personal programme Wake Up to Money on BBC Radio 5 live. Prior to editing, Maths graduate was the business producer on BBC Breakfast and the Today programme.
In the current economic climate, studying higher education courses at college is increasingly popular, giving students a more cost effective route to achieving a university degree. Many of the students who graduated will now be going on to top up to degree level or to put their skills to use in the workplace.
Jatinder Sharma OBE, Walsall College’s Principal and Chief Executive, said: “The 2018 HI:ED Graduation Ceremony was a celebration of what our higher education students have achieved. They are role models within their communities, as they have done themselves and their families proud to become skilled, professional and enterprising.
“Our students have achieved what they set out to accomplish and should be extremely proud of their achievements. I speak on behalf of everybody when I wish them every success in the future.
“Our overriding ambition is to give students the best possible platform from which to develop successful careers – both now and well into the future.
Looking ahead, we aim to continue our university partnerships, ensuring that our HE students develop the knowledge they need to enter the industry they wish to enter. Our courses are designed with industry input and are taught by expert tutors to give our students the skills that employers tell us they want. There has never been a better time to study a HI:ED course at Walsall College.”
Prospective students looking to start HE courses in September 2019 are invited to come and find out about the college’s affordable university level courses at its next Open Day.