University Centre Weston (UCW) students gathered with their friends and family last Friday (15th September), to celebrate their academic achievements, at the UCW 2023 Graduation ceremony.
The memorable event started off with the procession from the Winter Gardens to St John the Baptist’s Church for each of the three ceremonies, led by a jazz quartet. Graduates were met with applause from those in attendance, with over 1,000 guests across the three ceremonies, as well as thousands of views across the live streams.
Each ceremony was filled with emotional and uplifting moments, as graduates collected their well-earned certificates to the thunderous applause and cheers of their proud friends and family.
The traditional mortarboard toss added a touch of excitement, and the audience were also treated to a captivating musical mashup performance from the talented learners currently studying Musical Theatre BA (Hons) at UCW – some of whom only started that very week, who performed Roar by Katy Perry and Mountain by Sam Ryder.
Following the ceremonies, the festivities continued at the Winter Gardens, where graduates indulged in refreshments and captured memories in a fun-filled photobooth.
Sadie Skellon, Vice Principal Higher Education, expressed her pride in the class of 2023:
“I would like to offer my congratulations to all the people that graduated last Friday. Our students have done an incredible job this year, with over 80% of learners achieving a First-class or 2:1 Degree.
“All our students should be incredibly proud of their achievements, they have developed new skills, balanced their studies with a range of personal and work commitments and many have also overcome additional challenges whilst achieving their qualification.
“These qualifications are future-proof, with graduates obtaining key transferable skills, which increases their employability. Our students progress into graduate-level jobs, and we are incredibly proud of this; with learners going on to work for the likes of Disney, Network Rail, the NHS, Wessex Water and the Ministry of Defence. UCW is proud to serve as a launchpad for these extraordinary accomplishments.
“UCW is committed to nurturing the potential of students from diverse backgrounds and enabling them to achieve their educational aspirations, offering a range of support services to enable success. This year’s graduates embody this commitment, showcasing their dedication and hard work in achieving remarkable academic success.”
In keeping with UCW’s commitment to accessibility and inclusivity, the Graduation event welcomes students of all backgrounds and ages. Mature student and BA (Hons) Counselling graduate, Kimberley Humberstone, delivered the Student Vote of Thanks speeches, and said: “UCW is a fantastic place to study. They have an inclusive ethos, and view us all as individuals with unlimited potential, which ultimately helped us all to succeed.
“I have never felt as supported and as valued as I have while I have been a student at UCW, and I would like to thank those teams and individuals that embody this inclusive ethos and make UCW such a special place to learn.
“This ethos is, I think, one of the best parts of studying at UCW and something which sets it apart from other university environments.
University Centre Weston is also part of the West of England Institute of Technology and this year’s graduation also saw learners from these programmes graduate. One of those learners, Lewis Westcott, said:
“The lecturers and the support staff are outstanding, they pour their hearts and souls into our education and give it their all day in, day out – it really is a high level of learning and studying.
“Now that I have my degree, I am going on to work in Defence at Boeing.”