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Hugh Baird University Centre Class of 2019 Graduates celebrate their success

Graduates from the Hugh Baird University Centre last week celebrated their achievements alongside friends, family and staff at the University Centre’s 2019 Graduation Ceremony.

The University Centre, which opened in 2014, has provided local students with an affordable, aspirational and local progression option into Higher Education.

The courses delivered at the Hugh Baird University Centre are all approved and validated by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). In total, the Centre now offers 19 Foundation Degrees and 13 Full Honours Degrees, many of which are can be studied part time or full time. Alongside this, the University Centre offers teacher training qualifications, a range of professional development courses and Foundation Entry level courses for students that don’t meet the traditional entry requirements.

Colette Mawdsley, Dean of Higher Education at the Hugh Baird University Centre, said:

“Since the Hugh Baird University Centre opened we have seen a huge growth in student numbers and a major development of our curriculum offer. Close to 2,500 people have been brave enough to say, I can do this! In making this bold decision, they have bettered their career and life prospects and the future outlook for themselves and their families.”

“Many of our graduates have set a shining example to their children and other family members of just what can be achieved through applying oneself and continuing to move forward even when times get tough. This makes me exceptionally proud to be The Dean of the Hugh Baird University Centre because I know we make a difference.”

“The Graduation Ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate our graduates and their guests to feel extremely proud of their hard work and determination. Not only that, the Ceremony marks the next step in their journey into professional careers that could see them working here in the Liverpool City Region or anywhere across the world.”

Those in attendance at the ceremony heard a number of inspirational stories from graduates picking up special achievement awards, and in addition were addressed by a past student who shared her journey since graduating in 2018.

After being out of education for nearly 20 years, Catherine Coburn from Bootle last year collected a First Class Honours degree in Business and Management, something she never thought she would be capable of doing.

At the Graduation Ceremony, Catherine spoke of her experiences since graduating and gave advice to graduates.
Catherine said:

“It was a great honour to return to Hugh Baird University Centre as a guest speaker at the Graduation Ceremony. Just one year ago I was in the very position the Graduates are now, and it was great to share with them my journey since graduating. Some Graduates will know the path they want to go down and may quickly achieve this, whilst others may take a little longer or may not know what direction they want to go in, and that is absolutely fine. But whatever they do, they shouldn’t give in and let their hard work and achievement go to waste. The girt, determination and drive that they had to complete their degrees is inside every one of them and they will need that to help them progress in the future. I know this only too well and my hard work has led me to gain employment in a career I have always wanted”.

Dharma Kovuuri, Dean of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) Burnley Campus, said:

“It was an honour to represent UCLan at the Hugh Baird University Centre Graduation Ceremony as we celebrated the success of the latest Graduates of our longstanding partnership. UCLan is very proud to provide to offer university study to students in their local community which underpins our approach to widening participation. It was heartening to hear the personal stories of students who overcame challenges and combined study with family and care commitments. The students received first-rate support from staff at the University Centre who encouraged them to succeed. For many of them, their study will be a life-changing experience. It will provide career opportunities that they previously thought were not possible. It was clear from the reaction from the families, friends and the academic staff of the Hugh Baird University Centre how proud everyone was of the graduates. I wish them every success for the future”.