Students and families celebrate higher education achievements

20th October 2014 12:33pm - Return to press releases

Students and families celebrate higher education achievements

Graduates and their families packed the Priory Church of St Mary in Bridlington to celebrate the achievements of higher education students from East Riding College.
The church was full with about 400 people attending the event, which saw students presented with scrolls by Principal Derek Branton in recognition of the successful completion of their course. See the photo album on our Facebook page.

Mr Branton said: "The ceremony was an enjoyable family occasion. We heard from many graduates about how their new qualifications had supported them to advance in their jobs or find new employment opportunities, which is exactly what these courses are designed for.
“It is so pleasing to see the sense of pride that this level of success at higher education level instils in our learners and the positive impact that is having on their lives. We are delighted to have supported them in their achievements.”

The winner of the student of the year award was Nigel Hooson, 50, from Scarborough, who studied on the BA (Hons) in Education and Professional Development in 2013/14 and whose life over recent years demonstrates the transformational power of learning.
Previously a lorry driver with no academic qualifications, he now possesses a Certificate in Education teaching qualification and the BA (Hons) in Education and Professional Development from the College, as well as a foundation degree and English and maths certificates.
He has developed an enthusiasm for and love of learning which he is now dedicated to passing on to others, acting as a student representative and a guest speaker to new students.   
He said: “I got into teaching through driving instructing as I was teaching people with learning difficulties and my college tutor, John Aston, advised me to do a formal teaching course. 
“While I was doing the BA degree course, I also did a foundation degree covering autism and ADHD and worked as a volunteer, and now I’ve just started working for North Yorkshire County Council as an advanced teaching assistant with adults with learning difficulties.”
He added: “Because I wasn’t successful at school, working with my tutors at the College really inspired me keep on learning.
“All the staff have been so supportive and have helped me to do things I never thought I could do.”

Higher education at East Riding College is built on partnerships with the University of Hull, the University of Huddersfield and national validating bodies.
The College runs an expanding range of degrees, foundation degrees and higher national certificates and diplomas in a wide variety of subjects, as well as various teacher training courses.
There are also Access to Higher Education Diplomas which prepare people to step up to higher education level and are especially appropriate for people who have been out of education for several years.

For more information or to request a 2015 higher education course guide, call the College on 0845 120 0037 or visit


Notes to editors

Photographs of students following the ceremony are available. For more information, call Matthew Croshaw, marketing and communications manager, on 01482 390720 or email [email protected]