Graduation: A celebration of achievement

Led by a local brass band, students processed from the Old Mill Lane campus to The Civic with many members of the public and local businesses lining the streets to support the graduands as they paraded by.

The ceremonies, for those students who have completed university-level courses over the last year, were attended by graduands, their guests and VIPs including senior College staff, The Worshipful the Mayor of Barnsley Cllr Pauline Markham, the Deputy Lieutenant of South Yorkshire John Foster MBE and the High Sheriff of South Yorkshire John Pickering Esq.

Former Barnsley Sixth Form College student Dr Selina Wray, who was awarded her PhD in 2008 from King’s College London and now works in dementia research, delivered a passionate and inspiring keynote speech. She spoke warmly of her upbringing in Barnsley and her educational experiences as someone who was the first to go to university in her family. A captive audience listened as she told students to never be afraid of seeking and grasping opportunities.

Liz Leek, Vice Principal of Curriculum and Culture, congratulated each and every graduand as she presented them to Barnsley College Principal and Chief Executive Officer Yiannis Koursis and Chair of Governors Simon Perryman to receive their awards.

Yiannis Koursis also received his own award for completing the Strategic Management and Leadership Diploma Level 7 qualification which was presented to him by 16-year-old Health and Social Care student Megan Stables.

Liz praised the hard work, dedication and resilience shown by everyone graduating and said: “I would like to congratulate all the graduands and wish them well in their chosen careers.”

Student Colleen Owen, 47, who graduated from a Business Administration Higher Apprenticeship, said: “I feel a real sense of achievement having completed and graduated from my course as a single mum who studied alongside a full-time job. The support I received from my assessor as well as my work colleagues has been invaluable throughout.”

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