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Wrexham’s students celebrate their successes at 2024 graduation

Wrexham’s students celebrate their successes at 2024 graduation

More than 1,700 students celebrated their achievements with family, friends and their lecturers at Wrexham University’s(@WrexhamUni) 2024 graduation ceremonies this week.

Students were applauded as they stepped across the stage of the William Aston Hall to receive their awards, after years of hard work and dedication.

This year’s graduation marks Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maria Hinfelaar’s final ceremonies before she retires at the end of this summer.

Professor Hinfelaar said:

“An enormous congratulations, llongyfarchiadau and well done to our graduates, who join a growing community of Wrexham University alumni.

“It’s been an immense privilege to celebrate our latest graduates’ achievements and commitment to their studies. We are confident that the knowledge, skills and experiences they have gained while studying with us will have a profoundly positive impact on our communities.

“On a personal note, this week has been an extremely special one for me as it marks the end of celebrating the achievements of several generations of students. The first graduation ceremony I presided over as head of an institution was in Limerick in 2004 – and this week’s in Wrexham marked my last, before I retire later this summer.

“It’s been an incredible two decades of personally congratulating and shaking hands with around 50,000 remarkable individuals who have completed their studies and are embarking on the next phase in their lives. That’s thousands of engineers, accountants, marketeers, managers, nurses, artists, computer scientists, teachers, social workers, and many more professions.

“Many who have gone into the workplace in the field they qualified, many have set up their own businesses, some have stayed in academia as researchers, academic or professional staff. With their knowledge and skills, they deliver incredible value to our communities all over the world.”

Success stories were the golden thread running throughout the week, with graduates and their loved ones sharing their highlights of their time, while studying at Wrexham.

Among the graduates was Karen Williams, 42, who gained a first class degree in Mental Health and Wellbeing, who says university completely changed her life and perspective.

She said:

“I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve achieved while at university. From setting up social enterprise, Familiarisation Videos while studying, to supporting the Outside In project – it’s been incredible.

“As a younger person, university was something I didn’t think I’d ever be capable of completing – I didn’t do great at my GCSEs, I didn’t go to college but then while volunteering for a mental health charity, I realised that I wanted to further develop my knowledge and understanding of the mental issues that service users faced – that’s where university came in.

“And since then it’s been a real turning point for me. My time at university has been absolutely brilliant – it’s completely opened my eyes and helped me to view the world through a different lens and my lecturers have been amazingly supportive.  Graduating with a first class degree is the icing on the cake.”

Karen, who is now going on to do her Masters in Mental Health and Wellbeing says she couldn’t have successfully completed her studies without the unwavering support of loved ones, in particular her husband Gary, who drove Karen to and from every lecture and waited in the car every time, to ensure she got home safely.

Speaking about the dedication and support he provided Karen, he said: “What Karen’s achieved while at university has been astonishing, she’s come such a long way – in particular, her confidence. It’s been amazing to see. I could burst into tears at any moment I’m that proud.”

Nhlanhla Ncube, who graduated this week with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Management and currently works as a Nurse for the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

“I’m delighted to have gained my MBA but I’m even more excited to take my next steps in my career as I’m hoping to embark on a health management role.

“I believe the insights, knowledge and confidence that I’ve gained during the course of my studies have equipped me for that next chapter.”

Nursing graduate, Chris Owen, who is now working for the NHS in the Renal Unit at Wrexham Maelor Hospital, spoke of his pride at graduating from university.

“It feels so good – but also a little surreal – to have graduated after a brilliant three years at Wrexham. My course was incredible with fantastic support provided throughout from both my lecturers and peers, opportunities to grow and learn through placements were also brilliant.

“I’m now pleased to be doing a job I love working in the Renal Unit at Wrexham. I’m proud to do a job that I love, that is making a difference to patients’ lives everyday.”

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