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City chiefs pay tribute to college graduates at glittering celebration ceremonies

Civic and college leaders have paid tribute to The Sheffield College graduates for their resilience and achievements at a glittering double celebration.

Around 300 graduates from the College’s classes of 2020 and 2021 attended two graduation ceremonies at Sheffield Cathedral on November 19th, 2021.

For the class of 2020 it was a poignant milestone as their ceremony, which was due to take place last year, had to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wearing traditional robes and mortar boards, graduates received their scrolls for completing a range of university level qualifications including honours and foundation degrees, higher national certificates and diplomas, and higher apprenticeships.

To the sound of clapping and cheers from family, friends, teaching staff, college leaders, governors and civic chiefs, graduates were applauded for overcoming unprecedented challenges including adapting to online learning during the national lockdowns.

Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “It was a very special and emotional day. I am incredibly proud of our graduates for everything they have achieved. They have been so strong and resilient and are an absolute inspiration.”

She added: “The university level qualifications that our graduates have achieved are equipping them for the world of work and will help them go further in their careers. They deserve every success that comes their way.”

Louisa Harrison-Walker, Executive Director of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, the keynote speaker for the class of 2020 ceremony, said: “It was a real privilege to take part. It’s no mean feat graduating given the impact of the pandemic. To me, all of the graduates are winners.”

She added: “The Sheffield College plays a huge role in shaping the city’s future by educating and training young people who are highly employable and who have really bright futures in the region. I wish them every success with their next steps.”

Nancy Fielder, Editor of The Star and the keynote speaker for the class of 2021 ceremony congratulated graduates for their strength, resilience and achievements and highlighted their role as the future of the city.

Among those graduating was Halima Dous, who has completed a Higher National Certificate in Animal Management. She said: “To be graduating is an amazing feeling.

“What I would like to say to other students, despite the pandemic, is go for it, make sure you’re doing everything you can, everyone should definitely give it a go, give it a chance, you never know what you’ll achieve.”

Rachel Percival, who has completed a BA Honours in Performing Arts – Drama and was a student speaker at the class of 2020 graduation, said: “I stressed in my speech how resilient and determined we’ve all been.

“I also want to say a special ‘thank you’ to all of the lecturers and tutors at the College. If I was ever doubting myself, they would completely lift me up and show me how to believe in myself.”

Amy Dowling, who studied a Higher Apprenticeship in Business Administration and was the student speaker at the class of 2021 graduation, added: “It feels great to be graduating. We’ve all worked really hard.

“It’s great to celebrate. We’ve achieved so much over the last few years and now we are ready to hit the streets as proud The Sheffield College graduates.”

The Sheffield College offers full honours degrees, foundation degrees, higher national diplomas and certificates, and higher apprenticeships in a broad range of subjects. Visit

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