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Determination of student stars praised at college awards event

graduates on stage

Students at North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) have been praised for their ‘sheer grit and determination’ at a celebration event to recognise their achievements. The event, on Friday 26 January was held at the Leonardo Hotel, Hinckley.

In an inspirational keynote address, Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Principal and Chief Executive of NWSLC highlighted how students from across the college had demonstrated high levels of personal resilience in negotiating challenges and barriers to gain their skills and qualifications.

The celebrations recognised representatives of over 10,000 students and apprentices aged 14 and above who studied with NWSLC last year completing qualifications from foundation to degree level across the college’s seven campuses. Congratulating the students and graduates and presenting the prizes was Professor Ray Linforth OBE, chair of NWSLC’s governing body, and vice chairs, Dr Andrew Turner and Anil Majithia. More than 200 students collected certificates for their higher education and professional qualifications on the night.

Marion Plant said:

“I have been extremely impressed by the determination and commitment of our whole college community. Our students’ success goes well beyond qualifications and is reflected in the technical skills and self-confidence they have developed which leads to greater ambition for their future careers.

“Our staff have worked tirelessly and with real passion to ensure that our students and apprentices thrive and succeed while also continuing to develop their own practice. We were pleased to honour four colleagues who this year achieved higher education fellowship status with Coventry University.

Student award winners collecting STAR awards on the night included:

  • Apprentice of the Year George Archer who has excelled as an engineering technician for Hinckley-based OceanLED which makes underwater lighting for boats and superyachts.
  • Leicester-based construction student Said Hashemi, originally from Afghanistan, who excelled on the painting and decorating course at the college’s Wigston Campus with the help of a signer.
  • T Level engineering student Mia Duffield from Atherstone, who led a community-based project to design a garden for the Mary Ann Evans hospice at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton as part of her BAM Construction industry placement.
  • Higher education student Raheema Khalifa, who is re-training as a graphic designer while her children are at school and has progressed on to an HND at the college’s Hinckley Campus.

Marion Plant added:

“NWSLC enjoyed a fantastic year of success as a WorldSkills Centre of Excellence and was delighted to lead the medal table once again for foundation skills in the WorldSkills UK finals in 2023. We are particularly proud of our success in this discipline which was originally conceived by NWSLC.

“NWSLC is a strong and successful college currently busy developing its eighth campus, a new Digital Skills and Innovation Centre in Nuneaton. We are proud to have secured ‘leading college’ status for our work in sustainability and are developing new curriculum in hydrogen technologies to complement the rapid growth in our electrification courses.

“We are excited about the opportunity to become part of the Coventry University global education family and are working towards becoming the lead college within its new further education group during what promises to be an exciting year ahead.”

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